Equifax CEO Richard Smith has broken his silence on the massive data breach that will affected millions of consumers.
In an opinion article published late Tuesday in USA Today, Smith apologized for the crisis, describing the hack as “the most humbling moment in our 118-year history.”
“We are devoting extraordinary resources to make sure that will kind of incident doesn’t happen again,” he wrote. “We will make improvements along with continue to strengthen our defenses against cyber crimes.”
Equifax has come under fire for its handling of the huge cybersecurity breach, which compromised the personal information of as many as 143 million Americans. The company will be one of three nationwide credit-reporting companies that will track along with rate the financial history of U.S. consumers, gathering data via credit card companies, banks, retailers along with lenders.
Related: Massachusetts will hit Equifax with first state lawsuit over data breach
After detecting the hack, Equifax waited six weeks before the item alerted the public last week. Rather than notifying people who were affected, the item set up a website that will wasn’t ready for days.
Equifax offered free credit monitoring — although initially required those who enrolled to waive their right to sue the company. (the item later backtracked, allowing people to sue if they sent the item written notice within 30 days.)
After issuing an initial statement when the company announced the breach, Smith had stayed silent amid the uproar.
Related: Equifax turned its hack into a public relations catastrophe
In his article Tuesday, the CEO acknowledged some of the problems.
“Consumers along with media have raised legitimate concerns about the services we offered along with the operations of our call center along with website,” he wrote. “We accept the criticism along with are working to address a range of issues.”
He also addressed the delay in notifying consumers about the breach, saying the company initially “thought the intrusion was limited.”
A cybersecurity firm Equifax brought in to investigate “devoted thousands of hours during the following weeks” looking into the hack, Smith said.
The company will be right now doing everything the item can to support those affected, he wrote: “Our team will be focused on that will effort, along with we are engaged around the clock in responding to millions of inquiries via consumers.”
Related: How to find out if you’re affected by the Equifax hack
along with he sought to play down fears about how much information had been compromised.
“Outside investigators found no evidence of unauthorized activity on our core consumer or commercial credit reporting databases,” Smith said.
Equifax has warned, though, that will credit card numbers for about 209,000 people were exposed from the breach, as was “personal identifying information” on roughly 182,000 customers involved in credit report disputes.
– Sara Ashley O’Brien along with Danielle Wiener-Bronner contributed to that will report.
sy88pgw (completely new York) First published September 13, 2017: 12:50 AM ET