WNPR

Connecticut Consumers Urged To Protect Themselves In The Wake Of Equifax Hack

Sep 22, 2017

As pressure grows on credit monitoring bureau Equifax over its massive data breach, it’s still not clear how many people in Connecticut may have been affected by the hack. 

Connecticut’s Attorney General George Jepsen is leading a multi-state investigation into the breach, which it’s thought might have exposed the personal information of as many as 143 million Americans.

Matt Kozloski of Glastonbury’s Kelser Corporation helps companies with cyber security issues. He told WNPR’s Where We Live many of his clients take far more care to protect sensitive information than Equifax appears to have done.

“This was disclosed, there was an opportunity to keep systems up to date,” he said. “In the regular course of consulting that we do for people that are serious about cybersecurity, they’re doing things like running vulnerability scans, they’re calculating risk.”

The company is facing legal action and potentially massive fines over the incident, which it failed to publicly disclose for several months.

“A fine is not enough,” said Kozloski. “When are we going to start sending people to jail? When are there going to be criminal consequences for this.” 

Michelle Seagull, Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection said she hopes there are real penalties for Equifax.

“There will be a lot of conditions placed on the company in terms of how to redress the problem that occurred now, forward-going to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” she said. “We’re already seeing within the company some personnel changes. I think it’s going to be a pretty significant package.”

Equifax’s Chief Information Officer and Chief Security Officer have now left the company.

Meanwhile, Commissioner Seagull had a message for Connecticut residents, whether or not they believe they were affected by this particular hack. “It’s always important to take steps and protect yourself,” she said. “There may be other ones that are happening now that we may not know about.”

She recommends that consumers take concrete steps to be vigilant.

“It’s always important to be monitoring your credit reports, monitoring your bank accounts, your credit card accounts, and really just be on the lookout for potentially fraudulent activity,” said Seagull.  

In addition to state action, the Federal Trade Commission is also investigating Equifax.