Ex-Equifax CEO testifies, says breach was due to human error

While testifying before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection yesterday, ex-Equifax CEO Richard Smith said more can be done protect consumers’ financial information in light of the company’s recent data breach.

Smith, who acknowledged Equifax’s failure to apply a patch to a known security issue prior to the breach, indicated business and industry cooperation with legislation that might come from these congressional hearings.

During Tuesday’s hearing, Smith defended the timeline and the actions he and other employees took after the breach was discovered. It was the first of four congressional hearings Smith is set to testify in this week.

Members of the subcommittee were mostly concerned with who knew what details of the breach, when details were revealed and what processes Equifax had in place to detect and recover from system breaches. Smith announced his retirement from the company last week; two senior security executives retired earlier in September.


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