Two years after a 2017 data breach that exposed the data of nearly 150 million people, Equifax has agreed to pay at least $650 million, and possibly more, in the largest ever settlement for a data breach. According to the terms of the deal, Equifax is required to input a minimum of $380.5 million into a restitution fund for Americans who can show they were financial harmed by the data breach. At least $300 million of that fund must end up in the hands of victims as well. If that initial cash reserve is used before all claims are paid, Equifax will add up to $125 million more to fund further claims.
Those who had their data exposed by the Equifax data breach are eligible for ten years of free credit monitoring services. The $650 million figure assumes that seven out of ten eligible for this service will utilize it. The costs to Equifax could rise considerably if a greater percentage who are eligible sign up for the services.
Equifax will pay an additional $175 million in fines to end further attorney general investigations.
Details about the settlement can be found here.
For smaller businesses, having a similar percentage of their customers’ data exposed could be devastating to their business. Most small businesses just can’t withstand a data breach without further help and are more susceptible to cyber attack than larger companies. Cyber liability insurance can help you defend against, manage, and contain data breaches to save your small business.
Where can you obtain instant cyber liability insurance to guard against data breaches?
Colonial’s cyber insurance provides a services-based solution to help plan sponsors manage data breaches successfully. These services include a dedicated team of cyber breach professionals who assist plan sponsors at every stage of incident investigation and breach response. These professionals coordinate the carefully vetted forensics experts and specialized lawyers to help plan sponsors establish what’s been compromised; assess plan sponsor responsibility; and, notify those individuals affected. In addition, these services will also coordinate credit or identity monitoring, and PR advice to help the plan sponsor safeguard its reputation. Of course, Colonial’s cyber insurance also indemnifies and defends plan sponsors from covered lawsuits or regulatory actions, the risk of which may be reduced by a well-coordinated breach response, but can never be completely eliminated.
Ongoing governance and evaluation of recordkeepers can help protect data, but the only way to fully protect against a potential cyber attack’s data breach is to purchase cyber liability insurance from Colonial Surety Company.