By Robert Thomas
KENNESAW, Ga. – Despite local apathy, the recent Equifax data breach is a cause for concern to Kennesaw residents as well, a local information security expert said Sept. 19.
Contrary to the typical blasé attitude of many when it comes to the recent Equifax data breach, Dr. Andrew Green, a local Kennesaw information security expert, says, “Everybody should be worried about it.” However many Kennesaw residents remain unaware, or not phased by the revelation, and do not plan to take any extra precaution to protect themselves. One such example, Brandon Lee, a 32-year-old Kennesaw resident and KSU student, was not aware of the data breach when asked about it, and was equally unconcerned over his own risk when informed. “A lot of the time, people look at it as a national story and think ‘Oh, that doesn’t apply to me.’ Yeah, it really kind of does.” said Green.
The recent data breach of the major credit-reporting agency Equifax, which affected as many as 143 million U.S. consumers, occurred July 29, according to the company, and was publicly announced Sept. 7. In that announcement, Equifax stated that the leak included social security numbers, birthdates, addresses, and in some cases, driver’s license numbers and credit card information. According Green, the data breach occurred due to an unpatched software venerability, and Equifax’s slow response in installing the patch which would mitigate the venerability.
However, since that announcement, Equifax has drawn strong criticism over their response to the breach, with Green going as far as to call their response a “dumpster fire.” Green advises Kennesaw residents to just assume their personal identity has been compromised and to take the necessary steps to protect themselves. Green advocates checking one’s credit history regularly and signing up for free services such as Credit Karma, which will email regular credit profile checkups. If one’s identity becomes compromised, Green recommends following the Federal Trade Commission’s guidelines on personal identity theft.