Equifax and the Data-Breach Era: How Worried Should We Be?

Large-scale data breaches at Equifax, Office of Personnel Management (OPM), Target, and dozens of other companies have compromised crucial identifying information belonging to millions of people, including Social Security numbers and home addresses. What can Congress and other policymakers do to improve responses to breaches like this, which are sure to happen in the future? What can the public do to protect private information that has already been compromised?

In this briefing, Lillian Ablon, RAND Information Scientist and DEF CON black badge winner, and Sina Beaghley, RAND Senior International/Defense Policy Researcher and former Director for Intelligence and Information Security on the National Security Council staff discuss

  • victims' response and attitudes towards data breaches and the affected companies
  • national security implications, scope, and aftermath of the OPM data breach
  • considerations for Congress and policymakers in responding to consumer and government data breaches.