Equifax, the embattled credit scoring company that is still reeling from last fall’s massive data breach that exposed information on more than 145 million people, has spent $242.7 million dollars on the breach.
ZDNet, citing the company’s financial results, reported that in the first quarter it spent $45.7 million on IT and data security, while it spent $28.9 million on legal and investigative fees. For the first quarter, the total spent was $68.7 million, reported ZDNet, noting that in 2017 it spent $114 million dealing with the data breach with $60 million of it covered by insurance. ZDNet noted Equifax is shifting its focus with its spending from remediation to prevention as well as product development.
In March Equifax said that for 2018, it expects costs from the data breach to increase by $275 million. That increase in costs suggests it could turn out to be the most expensive hack of a corporation ever, reported Reuters. Citing comments the company made on a conference call at the time, Reuters reported the $275 million is in addition to the $164 million in pretax costs it reported for the last six months of 2017. Some of the money to be spent in 2018 for the data breach includes technology and security upgrades, legal fees and free identity theft services for consumers who were impacted by the attack. At the end of 2018, the cost from the data breach is projected to be $439 million. Larry Ponemon, chairman of Ponemon Institute, told Reuters the final cost of the breach could end up being more than $600 million. That would include the expenses associated with ending government investigations into the data breach as well as any civil lawsuits lodged against Equifax. “It looks like this will be the most expensive data breach in history,” said Ponemon in the report.
Equifax has been dealing with the breach since September of 2017 when it was disclosed, exposing sensitive information on 145.5 million consumers — including the credit card account numbers for 250,000.