Exposing 145m Equifax customer deets: $240m. Legal fees: $28.9m. Insurance: Priceless

Data breach cost biz $70m this quarter alone

Burning money, photo via Shutterstock

The Equifax mega-hack has cost the credit reporting agency well north of $200m to date, according to a financial filing for calendar Q1.

In September 2017, Equifax 'fessed up to a breach that exposed the data of more than 145 million people.

The cost of the breach in the latest full quarter ended 31 March was $68.7m, taking the total expense to $242.7m.

This month's layout includes some $45.7m spent on IT and data security, which covers both tech efforts – such as IT infrastructure, application, network and data security improvements – and the people hired to carry out the work.

The remainder was comprised of $28.9m spent on legal and investigative fees – to probe the incident and respond to various claims – and $4.1m on product liability costs.

Equifax clawed back some $10m from insurers in the quarter, taking the tally to $50m since the embarrassing incident. The company noted that it maintains $125m of cybersecurity insurance.

Despite the fallout – which has seen a former exec charged with insider trading and long delays in notifications for some British customers – the company reported revenue of $865.7m this quarter, up 4 per cent year-on-year.

In a statement accompanying the results, newly minted CEO Mark Begor, who was hired this month from equity firm Warburg Pincus, said he was "excited" to join the organisation "at such a pivotal time in the company's history".

He emphasised that Equifax had "invested significantly in data security and IT infrastructure enhancements" and that he was committed to rebuilding customer trust, something that may not happen anytime soon.

"As a custodian of consumer and customer information, protecting sensitive consumer data is a central priority for Equifax and me personally," he claimed. ®




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