Equifax breach prompts possible new regulations

September 18, 2017 07:49 PM

The cybersecurity at Equifax was reportedly so bad, it took the company almost five months to patch a massive server bug that much of the rest of the IT world patched in a day.

Their cybersecurity was so bad, cybersecurity researcher Brian Krebs found that Equifax employees in Argentina used admin - short for administrator - for their login and password.


New York Governor Andrew Cuomo thinks he can fix it. He's proposing legislation that requires Equifax and all other credit rating agencies to have strong cybersecurity if they want to do business in New York State.

The Equifax data breach is unprecedented because it potentially affects almost every American. If you've ever had credit like a car loan, a mortgage, or a credit card, Equifax has all your personal information.

What you need to do after the Equifax hack

The company has reported that the names, birth dates, social security numbers, addresses, and in some cases drivers’ license numbers of 143 million Americans were compromised.

That's why Governor Cuomo believes big credit rating agencies, like Equifax, need to be regulated.

Under Governor Cuomo's proposal, those agencies would have to register with the New York State Department of Financial Services on or before February 1, 2018.

The following are some of the proposed new regulations:

  • The new regulations would require credit rating agencies like Equifax have a cybersecurity program.
  • Credit rating agencies would be examined by the New York Department of Financial Services as often as the superintendent DFS sees fit.
  • The regulations would prohibit credit reporting agencies from defrauding or misleading consumers.
  • And those agencies would also be prohibited from including inaccurate information in any consumer report.

The regulations will go up on the Federal Register on October 4. After that, you will be able to tell the government what you think. The superintendent of DFS will consider public comments before adopting these regulations.

When it's available, will include a link from our website to help our viewers easily share their thoughts with New York state government on these new proposed regulations.

In the interim, the DFS is urging banks and financial institutions to take the following steps to protect consumers:

  • Ensure fraud prevention programs are in place before opening a new line of credit for an applicant. In other words, take more steps to ensure you are you before dolling out credit to someone.
  • Consider a customer call center for consumers to report fraud.
  • Confirm the validity of all information in any Equifax report.


Deanna Dewberry

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