Nearly two years after suffering a massive data breach, credit bureau Equifax is still bleeding money in settlements and legal fees.
Equifax’s latest earnings release tallies the costs associated with its 2017 cybersecurity incident at over $1.4 billion, which includes technology investments, professional services, staffing, regulatory sanctions, legal fees, and more. The costs also include the free credit monitoring services offered to those affected, following the incident.
Depending on the outcomes of several pending settlements and lawsuits, Equifax cautions investors that material damages may fluctuate. The credit reporting agency expects additional costs from the breach, but says the worst is over.
“We expect 2017 cybersecurity incident related costs for the remainder of 2019 to be less than the levels incurred in 2018,” the company states in its financial earnings papers.
The firm’s insurer has covered $125 million of the sum – a drop in the ocean.
During a call with investors, Chief Executive Mark Begor said the company has made substantial progress by reaching settlement agreements in some of the class action lawsuits thrown at it.
“This is a positive step forward for Equifax, as we work to put the 2017 cybersecurity event behind us,” he said.
While Begor can’t be blamed for downplaying the aftermath to appease investors, Equifax still faces hundreds of suits over the breach, ranging from consumer complaints and shareholder litigation to government lawsuits and international class actions.