If there’s any upside to the Equifax data breach, it could be for cybersecurity companies.
Some Atlanta-area companies say they’re seeing a spike in business.
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Atlanta-based Equifax’s cyberattack potentially exposed the personal information of as many as 145 million people.
The breach was a wake-up call for Atlanta-area CEOs, according to J. Scott with Waterproof Cybersecurity in downtown Atlanta. He said they ask: “What can I do to protect myself to make sure this doesn’t happen to me?”
Since the breach, Scott said his company has seen a 25 percent increase in new clients. He estimates that four out of five small businesses in the Atlanta area are not prepared for a cyberattack.
Atlanta Computer Forensics
Joseph Caruso is the chief technology officer of Global Digital Forensics, which has 16 offices, including one in Atlanta and Alpharetta, and manages Atlanta Computer Forensics in Midtown Atlanta.
“Sometimes these big events bring attention to places that have been lacking and we’re certainly seeing that in the cybersecurity business,” Caruso said.
Caruso said business volume has doubled since the Equifax attack.
He founded the company more than 20 years ago and said attitudes have changed only in the last few years.
Caruso said company executives now see securing their data and networks less as an expense and more as an investment.
“We’re seeing financial companies, financial planners, accountants, law firms, a lot of people that we didn’t see a lot of business from in the past are starting to come to us and say, ‘Look I don’t want to be in the same position [as Equifax],'” he said.
He estimated the cost of responding to a cyberattack is often five times the cost of cybersecurity upgrades and investments.
Another company, Core Security in Roswell, said it recently closed on a six-figure deal as a result of the Equifax data breach.
“We’ve seen material amount of business that’s directly related to things that went on with the breach, but in general, people need to not react to this stuff and take a methodical proactive approach,” said Core Security’s chief information security officer Chris Sullivan. “We call it whack-a-mole. You need to get out in front of it and think about a holistic approach.”
He said clients have asked Core Security to assess how secure its networks need to be and how to manage vulnerabilities in its systems.
Matt Morris is with NexDefense, a cybersecurity firm that moved from Silicon Valley to Atlanta in 2013. It focuses on infrastructure in industrial environments and includes Southern Company as one of its clients.
“Usually when an attack like this occurs, whether it’s Equifax, WannaCry, Petya, Not Petya, usually what happens immediately following that is that you do see some levels of increase in calls and interest,” Morris said. “What I’ve noticed over time is that in the United States that tends to subside relatively quickly – usually over a month or two. In some ways, that’s kind of sad because there’s definitely a lot of risk out there and most [companies] are not really prepared when it comes to cybersecurity and the risk that it brings to the organization, and we really saw that play out with Equifax, for sure.”