Equifax Messed Up, What is Slack’s Value, and Customer Service Frustrations

More details of the Equifax security breach are surfacing and it is now known that the credit reporting agency neglected to provide adequate patches to identified security vulnerabilities, leaving the public at risk.  Slack, the chosen workplace messaging application, went through another round of funding and now are valued at over $5 billion.  How and why they have risen to the top is an interesting discussion.  Customer service is always a sore subject.  In an age where profits over chosen over service, things tend to boil over and we share the stories of frustration with service and support.  And finally, protecting your information and project work in your professional setting is critical and the responsibility lies with both IT staff and staff of a company.  We provide some tips to keep yourself and your information safe.

The Security Breach of Equifax – What is New After One Week

The news of Equifax’s security indiscretions is making news day after day.  The Chief Information Officer and Chief Security Officer has left their positions.  We are learning how and why the security break occurred, what went wrong, and what Equifax missed along the way.  Despite a Homeland Security warning, Equifax choose to ignore the security concern.

  • Senator Elizabeth Warren is introducing legislation to protect consumer information
  • The hole was determined to be in Apache Struts, used by Equifax daily
  • Equifax determined a series of breaches had occurred from May 13 through July 30
  • 143M Americans, 91M businesses, and 400K Britons had information compromised
  • Share prices have fallen by more than a third since the breach on September 7

The Chosen Workplace Messaging App – Slack is Worth Over $5 Billion

Slack is above and beyond the messaging app of choice in the workplace.  But how and why have they risen to the top of the class against others in the competitive space of real-time and active messaging?  SoftBank, a Japanese investment firm, invested heavily in the company recently to push their value to the $5.1 billion mark.

  • Some companies are replacing email with Slack as their internal communications tool
  • The user experience, simplicity, and functionality of Slack is a proven winner
  • More investment means operational flexibility, resource development, and recruitment
  • Slack is purposely built on the idea of effectiveness, productivity, and collaboration

Overall Frustration with Services and Support From Companies

The two dreaded words that so many companies are great at but the majority of companies are terrible at – customer service.  We are in an age where we pay our bills regularly and then are forced to wait sometime hours, sometimes days for service information and requests.  This is an unacceptable standard to conduct business and needs to change sooner than later..

  • The customer seems to have been pushed aside in the name of profits and revenues
  • Customers are often forced to wait upwards of 30-90 minutes to phone service
  • Many customers are being forced to wait 3-7 days for home service calls
  • Companies in the tech space (telecomm, ISP, etc) are prioritizing profits, not customers

What Can We Do to Protect Our Accounts & Information at Work

Recently, we received some email reminders for the IT Help Desk regarding a phishing scheme and how to protect your information on a work device.  It is important to remember that IT will not catch ever breach or ever scam.  They are here to educate, inform, and protect.  But, it is the obligation of users to practice safe surfing, be smart about email, and know the threats.

  • Make sure your antivirus is turned on, both at work and home.
  • Makes sure to only open email attachments from known senders
  • Do not click on links within an email unless it is from a known sender
  • Do not click on websites that are not credible
  • Do not download your own software; allow help desk to install needed software
  • Turn your computer off at end of day to make sure important patches are loaded
  • Safe early, save often on network drives where backups are routinely completed
  • Do not ignore system updates, restart and load as prompted by computer

Resources

Equifax CIO, CSO Step Down

The Equifax Security Hole

Slack Is A $5 Billion Company

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