Equifax and Yahoo testify in front of the SCC
Earlier this month, two former CEO’s had to testify in front of Congress their accounts of events surrounding two of the largest data breaches in history. Marissa Mayer, former CEO of Yahoo!, and Richard Smith, former CEO of Equifax, sat in front of the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation and detailed to the best of their ability the nature of these breaches that occurred under their watch; what caused them, who is responsible for them, and how they will be prevented in the future. The Senate committee doesn’t fail to also publicly shame these executives for endangering their customer’s sensitive information for decades to come, while themselves exiting their respective companies with millions of dollars in compensations and bonuses. We’ve summarized the hearing with a few main points you need to know:
· Yahoo! still isn’t sure who is responsible for 2013 breach.
o Mayer confirmed at the hearing that they are still unable to determine who is responsible for the 2013 attack. Originally, Mayer testified that Yahoo! had fallen victim to state-sponsored attacks, but now has said that it is still undetermined.
· Yahoo! has shaky response as to why it took 3 years to disclose breach.
o When asked why it has taken Yahoo! over 3 years to disclose and understand the true extent of those affected by the 2013 breach, Mayer pointed to gaps in company information and the fact that the breach wasn’t uncovered until 2016. In short, many Senators found this answer to be insufficient.
· Senator says more rigorous data security rules are the only way to protect consumers.
o Sen. Ben Nelson (D) of Florida stated strongly that more stringent penalties and stiffer law enforcement are the only ways to incentivize protecting consumer’s information. He argued that if financial penalties of a breech were large enough, companies would spend more resources on security.
Bitcoin reaches another milestone
Just this week, Bitcoin reached another incredible milestone as it soared past $8,000 in price. Following a similar yearly trend of slumps and rallies, this price is up 47% from last week’s price of $5,500. This testifies to the asset’s volatile nature and is one reason many investors are still skeptical. Supporters of Bitcoin point to many positive developments that were made in the last few months, including additional institutional and government support around the world.
What makes Bitcoin attractive to the public is little-to-no transaction costs and ease of trade. Virtual currency is not linked to any particular nation, and is therefore universal. This also means that transactions cannot be taxed. Bitcoin’s market value now exceeds $130 billion and has grown more than 700% this year. It's generally considered good practice to be familiar with Bitcoin, and maybe even have some stored away in a virtual wallet lest you ever need to use them. A conversation with a SIM2K consultant can get you started and introduce you to the cryptocurrency market.
Tom X. McShane