“Lessons from Equifax: The Peril of Being ‘Too Slow'”
As Thompson & Knight partner Robert Ray sees it, Equifax Inc. took a number of steps typical of a textbook internal investigation after detecting a major data breach that would months later draw widespread outrage and cost the chief executive his job.
The Atlanta-based credit reporting agency alerted the board and surveyed the damage, grasping the extent of a breach that compromised the personal information of 145 million American adults. On Sept. 7, weeks after the late July discovery of the hack, the company publicly disclosed the data breach.
Ray, who succeeded Kenneth Starr as independent counsel for the Whitewater investigation under the Clinton administration, said the Equifax response isn’t so much that anyone took what he called a “wrong” action.
“The right actions were taken and the right evaluations were made. But in today’s world—too slow. And if it’s too slow, what happens? People lose their jobs,” Ray said Thursday at a cybersecurity panel discussion in Washington hosted by The Master’s Conference.