From Individuals to Enterprises: Cybersecurity at Every Level

October 02, 2023

AT HOME AND ON THE JOB, EVERYONE HAS MULTIPLE ROLES TO PLAY IN PROTECTING SENSITIVE DATA. Cybercriminals are looking everywhere for gaps to exploit.


How do hackers infiltrate households? What risks does AI introduce? Equifax CISO Jamil Farshchi recently answered these questions, debunking common myths about cybersecurity and sharing how individuals can protect their personal data.

His advice included:

  • Before clicking a link, always look for red flags. Most dangerous urls are contained in messages that are poorly written with incorrect grammar, punctuation, and spelling and try to create a sense of urgency (click here now, download this immediately).

  • Keep your devices up to date. Software updates are often released to address security vulnerabilities.

  • Monitoring your financial accounts. They’re often the first place you’ll see evidence that someone is using your identity.

“The average person has 187 online accounts. If the bad guys get login info for one account, they use it to compromise others. So you've got to be smart about password hygiene. Use a complex password. Make sure that you have enough characters in it. Don't reuse the same one for every single website that you go to,” said Jamil Farshchi.

Watch the entire interview below.



“How are you protecting our employees and customers’ data? How do you ensure your employees are behaving securely? And how can we ensure this for our workforce?”

Joe Muchnick, SVP & GM of Equifax Employer Services and Talent Solutions, regularly gets these questions from customers. And he embraces them. He recently shared this perspective:

  1. Security belongs at every stage of the customer and vendor lifecycle
  2. Culture can be a kryptonite or a crown jewel for security

  3. Small businesses are top targets for cyber criminals

  4. “Limited resources” doesn’t have to mean “limited security”

“Whether you’re acquiring, engaging or retaining a customer: bring security to the table,” he says. His main point: Together, we can collectively strengthen cybersecurity and deepen customers’ trust through more communication, more collaboration, and more transparency.

Equifax regularly equips customers and government leaders with security resources. Recent examples:

Individuals as Enterprises

In our personal lives and at work, individuals (not tech tools) play the biggest role in stopping cybercrime. Yes, it’s harder for cybercriminals to compromise a business than a household. The playbook is a little different. Businesses have more “digital armor” — firewalls, email filters, etc.

But hackers can still trick workers into allowing them to bypass those defenses. The vast majority of cyber incidents are caused by employee mistakes. Human error is the biggest risk factor.

That’s why all 23,000 Equifax employees and contractors treat security as a priority. To help keep security embedded into everyone’s DNA, team members receive an individual security scorecard each month, evaluating their behaviors such as secure browsing and sensitive data handling. Individual scores impact each employee’s compensation. 

We also partnered with our training vendor to improve the depth and breadth of their security awareness offering, including comprehensive measurement and real-time feedback. They’re now offering this improved functionality to a wide array of businesses, helping embed security into the DNA of employees all across the business ecosystem.

There are many layers to security awareness. At Equifax, we’re leading at every level, because building trust and transparency is part of our commitment to driving a more inclusive financial ecosystem. For more information about our approach to cybersecurity, check out our 2022 Security Annual Report.