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Many companies in Alabama and across the nation outsource their technical, digital information or cybersecurity needs to a third party. Oftentimes, sensitive customer information may reside on another company’s cloud-based software. At Slaten Law, P.C., our attorneys understand your need to protect your company’s and your customers’ personal information from intrusions resulting from external negligence. In the event that a data breach occurs, litigation against the party responsible may help in seeking relief for damages.

After discovering 2.3 million residents of Alabama had their personal information exposed by a data breach, the state’s attorney general filed a legal action against Equifax. According to WAAY-TV, the data breach resulted in approximately 150 million individuals having their social security numbers exposed. The breach allegedly began during May of 2017; the company, however, failed to disclose it until several months later.

The Cotton State’s attorney general reported that the credit-reporting agency did not have a proper system for client security in place. Because of its lack of reasonable protection measures, it was not difficult for cybercriminals to intrude into Equifax’s system and access its database of nearly 56% of adults with credit in the U.S. The consumer-reporting agency allegedly failed to keep individuals’ private information sufficiently guarded.

Numerous businesses rely on Equifax to determine whether to extend credit, hire employees or enforce collections against an individual. While the data breach may not affect these entities directly, the subsequent investigation and system-repair process may result in some companies not gaining access to Equifax’s services when they need it. If a contract is in place, a company may then be in breach of its obligations to other businesses that have signed up for its services.

Our page on business and commercial litigation provides more information on how to protect your company should a third-party breach occur.