Equifax Brings on Home Depot CISO in Wake of Massive Breach

Credit reporting agency Equifax is bringing in a ringer to help clean up from the massive data breach that affected nearly every adult American last year.

The company has named Jamil Farshchi as its CISO. Farshchi is perhaps best known for being the person who took up the reins as CISO at The Home Depot in March 2015, just months after Home Depot itself discovered an enormous point-of-sale (PoS) breach, which resulted in 56 million customers’ credit card information being compromised.

Farshchi managed to steer the home improvement and DIY giant back into customer confidence, and he’s expected to do the same for Atlanta-based Equifax. He will assume “company-wide leadership of work already underway to transform the company's information security program and collaborate with the industry to share best practices on information security,” the company said.

He fills the open position left by Susan Mauldin, who abruptly retired in disgrace from the company after the breach was disclosed in late 2017. 

"Jamil has a reputation for helping enterprises rebuild and fortify information security programs,” said Equifax interim CEO Paulino do Rego Barros Jr. “His expertise in risk intelligence and cybersecurity combined with his intimate knowledge of industry best practices will allow us to design and deploy a best-in-class, global security strategy to reestablish ourselves as a trusted leader."

He has his work cut out for him: The Equifax breach dwarfs Home Depot’s, consisting of 143 million compromised records. Criminals made off with names, Social Security numbers, dates of birth and physical addresses. Credit-reporting companies also have information on credit accounts, including the type of account, when it was opened, the limit, and the balance and payment history, and information on consumers' address history and debt. In all, the breach touched 45% of the entire US population, which translates to most of the adults in the nation.

Prior to his role at The Home Depot, Farshchi was the first global CISO at Time Warner and has held positions at Visa, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Sitel Corporation, Nextwave Broadband and NASA. He holds a master's degree from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Business School and a bachelor's degree in Business Administration from the University of Oklahoma. 

"Equifax is a company with tremendous potential, and I am confident that we will transform our security program into one of the most advanced and recognized globally," said Farshchi. "I am grateful for this new challenge and am looking forward to enabling the business with new insights, a fresh perspective, and a multi-dimensional way of thinking about global data stewardship and information security."

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