Cyber Security

Massive Cyber Attack at Equifax could impact 143 million consumers

  Equifax trading information and the company logo are displayed on a screen where the stock is traded on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York.A recent massive security breach at credit reporting company Equifax, which could impact 143 million consumers in the U.S.  The breach which was revealed last week along with the revelation that three Equifax officials, including its chief financial officer, sold nearly $2 million of the company’s shares in the days after the breach was discovered in late July may have wide-reaching implications for investors’ attitudes toward cybersecurity in public companies going forward.

While the company said in a statement that the executives had no knowledge of the attack at the time they sold their shares, questions have been raised around the timing of the sales.

Some of consumers’ most important personal information may have been stolen, said Max Wolff, chief economist at Disruptive Technology Advisers, adding that the breach, along with the executives’ share sales being revealed in regulatory filings, will impact how investors feel about “cybersecurity, data … and it’s going to unfortunately set some new records in terms of fines and fallout” as well as influence how investors think about corporate governance.

“We watched the company here, in this particular case, spend about two months getting ready to share the information that they had lost this data,” as well as the news of executives selling shares before the announcement, Wolff said.

He added: “I think investors are going to ask another basic question when they own or praise the ownership of a public company … they’re going to have to ask what the cyber-vulnerabilities are. And they’re going to have to know that there’s a good set of policies in place to prevent, and to respond to, these type of attacks.”

Read more on CNBC

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