Equifax helps companies win back customer trust after a data breach

Equifax Protect provides crucial customer support tool

In response to the swathe of high profile UK data breaches in the last 6-12 months*, credit information provider, Equifax, has launched Equifax Protect, which companies can offer to their customers to monitor for signs of identity theft after a breach.

According to the 2016 Risk:Value** report from NTT Com Security, more than half of businesses in the UK (57%) expect to experience a data breach, anticipating it will cost them on average £1.2 million, with an additional 13% drop in revenue. And that’s before remediation costs are taken into account like compensation to customers.

“Crucial to tackling loss of reputation after a breach is being able to provide customers with as much support as possible as quickly as possible” explained Lisa Hardstaff, identity fraud expert at Equifax.

“Companies of every size have legal obligations under the Data Protection Act, to look after any data they hold, and can expect fines if they don’t act appropriately to keep the data secure. Importantly, how a company responds to its customers after a breach is something that the Information Commissioner takes into account when issuing monetary penalties. And providing identity monitoring solutions to affected individuals has been highlighted as a mitigating factor by the ICO in previous penalty rulings.

“We have therefore developed Equifax Protect, which gives impacted businesses a ready-made solution to offer their customers within three business days of a breach being identified.”

Equifax Protect enables businesses affected by a breach to offer their customers a range of tools so that they can react fast and take appropriate action to reduce the risk of fraud. Swift access to their own credit information will help consumers check if they have already been targeted by fraudsters. On-going monitoring tools will alert them to key changes to their credit information, which could be another sign of fraud.

Equifax Protect also includes Equifax WebDetect which proactively scans the networks, chat rooms and websites known to be used by criminals to trade personal information, such as credit card and account numbers. WebDetect will alert individuals if their information is found to be at risk so that they can take swift action.

Detailed information to spot fraudulent credit accounts

Equifax Protect gives individuals unlimited access to their Equifax Credit Report & Score, allowing them to take action if they see suspicious activity. Information includes:

  • Credit agreements including balances
  • Searches for new credit
  • County Court Judgments (CCJs)
  • Linked addresses that may not be their current home

Alerts to respond to new threats

Equifax Protect also notifies customers of changes to their credit information, enabling them to take measures against potential fraud:

  • Automatic alerts of new credit accounts opened, credit searches performed and other key changes to their Equifax Credit Report
  • Optional monitoring of websites where personal information is known to be exchanged and traded by fraudsters

“We know responding fast is essential to meet regulatory needs in the event of a data breach” continued Lisa Hardstaff. “The faster and more comprehensively an organisation helps its customers the better for brand loyalty too. Equifax Protect can be set up within three business days and includes template communications to help an organisation contact affected customers or employees with the right message. Plus we provide a company’s customers with support 7 days a week by phone as well as online help and FAQs, with victims of fraud specialists on hand should they be needed.

“With credit monitoring alerts to their phone or email and WebDetect alerts to their email, customers of companies that have suffered a data breach can gain peace of mind with Equifax Protect. And providing that sort of support should play a crucial role in helping an affected business regain customer trust.”

*Source https://www.gov.uk/government/news/two-thirds-of-large-uk-businesses-hit-by-cyber-breach-or-attack-in-past-year

** Source http://www.nttcomsecurity.com/en/uploads/documentdatabase/UK_Infographic_RiskValue_Public_Approved_V1.pdf.PDF

For further press information, please contact: Clare Watson, Cecile Stearn, Parm Heer or Wendy Harrison at HSL on 020 8977 9132 / Fax: 020 8977 5200 or Email: equifaxbtocteam@harrisonsadler.com

About Equifax

Equifax, Inc. (“Equifax”) powers the financial future of individuals and organizations around the world. Using the combined strength of unique trusted data, technology and innovative analytics, Equifax has grown from a consumer credit company into a leading provider of insights and knowledge that helps its customers make informed decisions. The company organizes, assimilates and analyses data on more than 800 million consumers and more than 88 million businesses worldwide, and its databases include employee data contributed from more than 5,000 employers. Headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., Equifax operates or has investments in 24 countries in North America, Central and South America, Europe and the Asia Pacific region. It is a member of Standard & Poor's (S&P) 500® Index, and its common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the symbol EFX. Equifax employs approximately 9,200 employees worldwide.

Some noteworthy achievements for the company include: Ranked 13 on the American Banker FinTech Forward list (2015); named a Top Technology Provider on the FinTech 100 list (2004-2015); named an InformationWeek Elite 100 Winner (2014-2015); named a Top Workplace by Atlanta Journal Constitution (2013-2015); named one of Fortune’s World’s Most Admired Companies (2011-2015); named one of Forbes’ World’s 100 Most Innovative Companies (2015). For more information, visit www.equifax.com

Equifax Limited is one of the Equifax group companies based in the UK.

Equifax Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

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