This week news hit that a data breach suffered by the U.S. credit monitoring company Equifax has affected more than 143 million Americans. The company collects data that serves in certifying that people are eligible for leases and loans, including social security numbers, birth dates, driver’s license numbers, and home addresses. The data breach is massive, considering there are only 125 million households in the United States /2/.
Following the data breach the company’s stock value plummeted more than 13%. The data in the hands of cybercriminals is sufficient to steal identities, leaving customers with tremendous uncertainty in how they should proceed.
Equifax data storage an invitation for cybercriminals
Perhaps more shocking than the data breach itself is the fact that the company was storing such highly sensitive data in a centralized database, leaving practically an invitation to hackers looking to piece together information to steal identities. The Guardian reported that Senator Mark Warner called for Congress to take measures to discourage companies from collecting data of this nature in this way /1/.
The constellation of data being collected is indeed a recipe for disaster when stored in one place. Companies like Equifax ought to be seriously considering storing their data in a decentralized database if they are planning on staying in business and complying with heightened regulations which are surely on their way in the aftermath of this instance.
Blockchain needed for security in the future
Blockchain technology is a type of decentralised database being explored by many companies to secure their data, and has great potential in many industries. Blockchain distributes many copies of data throughout an overall data bank, making it very difficult if not impossible for hackers to access or change information. Even in the case that a malicious party managed to access one node, they would not have access to the variety of information needed to steal an identity (presumably then distributed across many nodes).
To learn more about Blockchain and further use case, you can get in touch with our experts.