Response to Equifax Security Breach

A response from SMP on the recent Equifax security breach - 

Credit bureaus consolidate lots of information about you that can be used to steal your identity, which can turn your life into a nightmare for a long time (average is 7 years).

Equifax, one of the 3 largest consumer credit bureaus in the US, was just hacked. Per their own statement, the data of 143 million individual US consumers is compromised. Equifax is offering free credit monitoring to all US consumers (but no compensation for any consequences of the breach on consumers’ lives). You must enroll before Tuesday, November 21, 2017 to get one year of their credit monitoring service. Be mindful that they have set up a date before which you may not enroll. To find out, go to their special website at https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com - be sure to read the FAQ.

Equifax allegedly discovered the breach on July 29 (unauthorized access may have started mid-May) and they only made it public on September 7. 

At some point soon, your identity data will be sold for next to nothing (the going rate is about $0.02 per 10,000 records) to all takers and it is very likely that someone will try to use it, possibly to obtain credit cards, buy a car, file fraudulent tax returns or get loans in your name. Once that happens you will be held responsible for the balance of the accounts until you can prove that you were not the person responsible (that can be difficult and quite time-consuming). You will have to fight to defend your good name and...creditworthiness. Yes, that is absurd, but that’s what happens to millions in the US each year.

To protect yourself, we recommend that you do the following:
        1.  Contact Equifax, Experian and Transunion to put a credit freeze on your account.
        2.  Sign up for Equifax’s free credit report monitoring offer (they make it complicated to sign up and there is a deadline on November 21.
        3.  Actively monitor your future credit reports and keep an eye out for abnormal activity (new loans, credit cards, etc.).

This Wikipedia article is a good summary:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Identity_theft_in_the_United_States

The Federal Trade Commission publishes facts & statistics about identity theft.
https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/media-resources/identity-theft-and-data-security

If you have any questions, please contact SMP

Upcoming - ILTA LegalSec 2017

Security Management Partners will sponsor and exhibit at next week's LegalSec2017 conference in Virginia. Attendees are encouraged to meet with Ed Greenberg, Senior Security Services Account Director of SMP in Booth No. 27. 

"Two Days All About Security For Legal" - The target audience for ILTA’s LegalSEC Summit is legal technology professionals at every level and general counsel who touch legal security in their law firm or law department and want to learn more and connect with peers.

When: Tuesday, June 13-Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Where: Crystal Gateway Marriott, Arlington, VA

Learn more: http://legalsec.iltanet.org/home

NJBIZ Special Report: Cybersecurity

Don't have a good cybersecurity plan in place? Then don't plan on getting a lot of business in the future says this NJBIZ article featuring commentary from SMP's own Peter Bamber. A follow up to a May 17 event, the article explores current cybersecurity trends. 

For more on this topic, as well as what organizations can do to protect their information, join SMP on June 13 for a special cybersecurity panel discussion at the Hyatt Regency in New Brunswick, NJ. Additional details and registration is available here: http://www.smpone.com/june-13-cybersecurity-workshop.

From NJBIZ - Another attack is coming — here's the No. 1 thing to do (and not to do)

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The worldwide ransomware attack over the weekend was halted before it could cause the global shutdown many feared.

The biggest question in the aftermath: Did the U.S. simply dodge a bullet?

Peter Bamber, the vice president at Security Management Partners, said it doesn’t really matter either way.

“Dodging a bullet?” he asked. “The guns are loaded — they are still shooting; that’s the way I look at it. They are going to come right back at us with this. They’ll just tweak it a bit.”

Read the full article at NJBIZ: http://www.njbiz.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20170515/NJBIZ01/170519888/nj-cyberexperts-another-attack-is-coming--heres-the-no-1-thing-to-do-and-not-to-do

Upcoming - Cybersecurity: A Panel Presented by NJBIZ

Understanding and managing cyber risks have become top priority for leaders in business and government. Now more than ever, a cyber attack is an omnipresent threat, requiring organizations to fully appreciate the risks and the steps needed to mitigate them.

Peter Bamber of SMP joins other panelists to share views on the latest technological trends and weigh in on the issues that businesses are facing in cybersecurity. 

Representatives from Security Management Partners will be in attendance.

When: Wednesday, May 17
Where: Raritan Valley Country Club
Time: 8:00am – 10:00am

Learn more and register here: http://www.njbiz.com/section/panel-discussion-reg