Equifax breach makes cybersecurity more urgent than ever

The recent retirement of Equifax CEO Richard Smith – after a data breach at the credit reporting bureau put the personal information of as many as 143 million Americans at risk – is just the latest development in an ongoing story that represents an urgent call for cybersecurity action.

Our critical infrastructure centers are at grave risk for technological or digital disruption, more commonly known as hacks. A single hack on any one of these targets could severely imperil the health, financial well-being and security of the American people.
Members of Congress, state attorneys general, security experts and citizens need to strive to understand and mitigate the terrible impacts of the hack, because these impacts could last for years.

The privacy of Social Security, driver’s license and credit card numbers were all endangered by the Equifax hack. So were home addresses and dates of birth of roughly half the U.S. population.
Experts have been quick to identify what has been labeled the “Equi-hack” as a Level 10 (the highest number on a scale of 1 to 10) threat to identity and information security.
The depth and breadth of the Equi-hack underscores the urgent need for private sector leaders – including those at my company, Parsons – to confront and prevent cyberattacks across a wide spectrum of vulnerabilities.

While credit cards numbers, dates of birth and addresses were the target of the Equi-hack, imagine a devastating cyberattack on America’s critical infrastructure. Electric grids, dams, mass transit systems and air traffic control centers are all vulnerable.

Read more…

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