Equifax: Where Perception = Reality, Timing is Everything

Equifax: Where Percepton = Reality, Timing is Everything

This is a follow up to a previous post. Paul Monica’s recent article in CNN:Money indicates that Officers in the Equifax Corporation sold stock shares in the days following Equifax’s data breach.  The article indicates that Equifax became aware of the breach on Saturday, July 29th and thereafter, on Tuesday, August 1st, and Wednesday, August 2nd, three Equifax officers sold shares of Equifax stock.  In looking at the U.S. Securities and Exchange EDGAR system, it seems that John Gamble, CVP & CFO; Joseph Loughran III, President USIS; and Ploder Rodolfo, President Workforce Solutions all sold stock worth nearly $1.9M the week after the breach was “discovered.”

John Gamble: SEC Form 4

Joseph Loughran, III: SEC Form 4

Ploder Rodolfo: SEC Form 4

The article states that Equifax told CNNMoney that the executives “had no knowledge that an intrusion had occurred when they made the sales.”

 


{OPINION}: Business 101: Perception is everything and this article raises a (minimally) two-fold question: (1) is Equifax so incredibly inept that a breach of epic proportions was discovered on Saturday, July 29, and yet on Tuesday, August 1st, key corporate officers still had not been made aware of this?; (2) why did Equifax even respond to the CNNMoney article if they were merely going to skirt the issue and then demonstrate their complete lack of an internal breach notification system?

The optics on this were bad already, a data breach was discovered on July 29th, the impact is upwards of 143M records and the news isn’t released until after the latest news cycle covering Irma was complete on a Thursday evening.  Now it seems Equifax executives had the uncanny good fortune to offload what is soon to be a plummeting stock and net hundreds of thousands of dollars in the process.

While it is true, that breaches happen even to the most secure systems, how breaches are handled once discovered can have a tremendous impact on consumer trust, goodwill, and ongoing business relationships.  Equifax is going to have to redouble its efforts and work on its PR if it wants to successfully weather this storm.

On the “adding insult to injury” track, below is a screenshot of the Equifax online verification screen to determine if you may have been compromised during their breach.

 

 

 

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Authors

Untitled Document
Professor William Snyder

Professor William C. Snyderis a member of the faculty of the Institute for National Security and Counter-terrorism at Syracuse University after fifteen years with the United States Department of Justice.

Ryan D. White

Ryan D. WhiteRyan is currently a third year law student at Syracuse University College of Law, and is also pursuing a Master of Public Administration degree from Syracuse’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. Ryan spent time with Homeland Security Investigations while pursuing his undergraduate degree at Wesleyan University, and spent his first summer of law school as clerk for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of New York. He is a member of Syracuse Law Review, the Journal on Terrorism and Security Analysis, and participates in the Veteran’s Legal Clinic. Full biography

Shelby E. Mann

Ryan D. WhiteShelby is a second year law student at the Syracuse University College of Law. During her final year at the University of Missouri, she served as a full-time news producer for ABC 17 News. Shelby spent her first summer of law school at the Shelby County District Attorney General's Office in Memphis, Tenn., in the Public Corruption and Economic Crimes Unit. She is a member of Syracuse Law Review, the Journal on Terrorism and Security Analysis, and the senior editor for the Syrian Accountability Project. Full biography

Christopher w. FolkChristopher W. Folk

is a 2017 graduate of SU College of Law. A non-traditional student, Christopher returned to academia after spending nearly twenty years in the high tech industry. Christopher served in the Marine Corps, graduated from Cornell University with a B.S. In Applied Economics and Business Management, attended Northeastern University’s High-Tech MBA Program and received a M.S. In Computer Information Systems. Christopher previously worked in Software Engineering. Christopher is currently serving his second term as Town Justice for the Town of Waterloo. Christopher externed with a Cybersecurity firm in the Washington, D.C. area between his first and second year at SU College of Law. Full biography

Anna Maria Castillo

is 2016 graduate of Syracuse College of Law. She also holds a Master of Arts in International Relations from Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. She has interned at a London-based think-tank that specializes in transnational terrorism and global security and at the legal department of a defense contractor. She served as an executive editor in the Syracuse Law Review. Full biography

Jennifer A. CamilloJennifer A. Camillo

is a 2015 graduate of Syracuse College of Law and is a prosecutor. She has served as a law clerk in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York and the Cayuga County District Attorney’s Office and as an extern in the Oneida County District Attorney’s Office. She was a member of the Syracuse National Trial Team and was awarded the Tiffany Cup by the New York Bar Association for her trial advocacy achievements.

Tara J. PistoreseTara J. Pistorese

holds Juris Doctor and Masters of Public Administration degrees from Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and its College of Law. She wrote for this blog when a student. She is now a member of the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's Corps.

Benjamin Zaiser

is both a scholar and a Federal Agent of the Federal Criminal Police Office of Germany. (Opinions expressed here are his own and not any part of official duty.) Full biography

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