If you’re able to read and are an American, it’s impossible to not have heard of the Equifax data breach that exposed about 143 million Americans’ private information. On top of the data breach, two of the top executives who work for Equifax sold shares right after the breach was discovered. Equifax stock plummeted quickly as a result.
It couldn’t get much worse for Equifax, right?
Wrong. Unbelievably, wrong.
It was bad enough that the top executives couldn’t seem to get rid of their stock fast enough, though Equifax declares it had nothing to do with the data breach. Of course it didn’t, because that would be unethical. Once Americans were left to digest that information (or choke on it, as it were), they were hit with another tidbit concerning Equifax and its employees.
You would think that someone in charge of the security of personal data belonging to entire countries would be touting some type of security or information technology degree. You would be wrong. As it turns out, Susan Mauldin, the person in charge of data security at Equifax, is very well educated… in music. That’s right, the individual responsible for guarding the data of people who never asked for it to be there in the first place holds a bachelor’s and a Master of Fine Arts degree in music. According to what was once her public LinkedIn profile, she obtained these degrees from the esteemed University of Georgia.
If you look at Ms. Mauldin’s LinkedIn profile today, you’ll find that it is now private, and instead of having her last name listed, she only has the initial. None of her educational information is public.
But, music is really just auditory math when you break it down, so if we stretch our imaginations a bit, we can almost see where that might work, since IT is really just very in-depth versions of mathematical computations. Yes, we can almost see it. Not quite, and there is that nasty breach involving millions of people in America, but there isn’t really anything Americans can do about it since we never asked Equifax to track our information to begin with.
Equifax Twitter Fail
Equifax, in its rush to assist Americans as they tried to discover whether or not their data had been exposed, put up a web page specifically designed to help Americans learn their status in the breach. There were a few glitches at first, but eventually the page could actually tell Americans if they were likely to have their data in the hands of strangers right this minute.
That’s great. Except when the powers that be at Equifax tweeted the helpful link, at first it led to a phishing site. The phishing site was designed to make fun of Equifax for being so lax that they made a site which was so easy to duplicate and use for phishing. Equifax has since apologized and removed the phishing link.
If Equifax had gone out of their way to destroy the trust of Americans along with their own stock prices, they couldn’t have chosen a better route. It will be interesting (terrifying) to see what comes next.