Equifax logo

Equifax Data Breach Set To Be Most Expensive Hack Ever

March 7, 2018         By: Steven Anderson

In 2017, the Equifax hack was set to be a pricey disaster by literally any measure, setting the company back a whopping $164 million in pre-tax costs. Now, new reports suggest that those initial costs weren’t even half the matter, and the new price tag for the Equifax hack is expected to skyrocket from there.

The newest reports suggest that the new figures will require an extra $275 million to be added, bringing the cumulative total up to a staggering $439 million, or approaching triple the original costs. The good news is that the extra spending will have quite a bit of tangible benefit, including upgrades to technology and security. A good chunk of that spending, though, is geared more toward addressing the current issues, including free identity theft services and various legal fees.

Some reports suggest that even the $439 million figure may be underestimating things; Larry Ponemon of the Ponemon Institute suggests that the ultimate costs could clear the $600 million mark, which would include the costs of ending various government investigations against Equifax, along with the costs of various civil lawsuits likely to follow.

Despite the massive expense, word from the company was that it was clearing more profit than even Wall Street projections suggested. Good news, but it followed it up with bad news, noting an additional 2.4 million people affected by the hack than was earlier suggested. Equifax found these poor souls by using information from records that hackers hadn’t stolen, as well as the available resources of a third-party data provider.  The good news, though, is that the information in question was partial in nature.

In the end, what this proves more than anything is the importance of security, all over. Not just for data-heavy operations like Equifax but for all of us as well. Security was one of the biggest impediments in getting mobile payments off the ground, and while we’ve made great strides going forward, there’s always a new threat waiting that will need addressing.

Thankfully, today, mobile payments are safe and easy to use. This helps ensure that users will keep putting this technology to use in everyday operations. However, we’ll need to remain vigilant so we can prevent the next $439 million disaster from striking.