Following on from Equifax’s announcement last week that the US arm of the company announced a cybersecurity incident. Equifax has now identified unauthorised access to limited personal information for certain UK consumers.
Equifax UK has confirmed that UK systems are not affected. Equifax UK and TDX Group systems and platforms are entirely separated from those impacted by the US Equifax cybersecurity incident.
In a statement Equifax said regrettably the investigation shows that a file containing UK consumer information may potentially have been accessed. This was due to a process failure, corrected in 2016, which led to a limited amount of UK data being stored in the US between 2011 and 2016. The information was restricted to: Name, date of birth, email address and a telephone number and Equifax can confirm that the data does not include any residential address information, password information or financial data. Having concluded the initial assessment Equifax has established that it is likely to need to contact fewer than 400,000 UK consumers in order to offer them appropriate advice and a range of services to help safeguard and reassure them.
Due to the nature of the information, Equifax believes identity takeover is unlikely for the UK consumers who had their data potentially accessed in this incident. It is however important that Equifax does all that it can to provide reassurance and protection to these people and it will be proactively contacting impacted customers in writing to offer them a free comprehensive identity protection service which will allow them to monitor their personal data, including their credit information and be alerted to any potential signs of fraudulent activity.
The service will also incorporate web and social media monitoring alerting the consumer to any publically available information about them. Equifax will also provide links to services provided by other UK regulated organisations which these consumers may prefer to take-up in addition to or instead of the free services provided by Equifax.
Patricio Remon, President at Equifax UK said: “We apologise for this failure to protect UK consumer data. Our immediate focus is to support those affected by this incident and to ensure we make all of the necessary improvements and investments to strengthen our security and processes going forward.”
The compromised UK consumer data does not relate to any single Equifax business client or institution.