The third way Equifax may benefit, Warren explained, is through the products it sells to government agencies to help them with identity verification, something that could be all the more important if the breach leads to greater identity theft, as expected. Apparently, Equifax knew about the vulnerabilities in its systems since March this year, but failed to address the issues on time.
According to Equifax, only about 8,000 Canadian customers were affected as a consequent of the high-profile breach of their cyber data.
Smith said Equifax has 225 individuals devoted to cybersecurity and the company has invested almost a quarter of a billion dollars in security over the past couple of years. Smith's prepared remarks were similar to those written for his appearance before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Tuesday, where he claimed "full responsibility". Equifax is one of three major credit reporting bureaus and its data is used to determine credit ratings for mortgages, auto loans, credit cards and other financial instruments.
At the hearing in Washington on Tuesday Mr Smith said it took the firm weeks to establish the extent of the attack after it identified suspicious activity in July.
Smith conceded the hack created an opportunity for fraud, and the company could profit from consumers seeking to protect their data. Also, the company is now under investigation by the Department of Justice, the FBI and the Federal Trade Commission.
Hawaii U.S. Senators are demanding new consumer protections following the Equifax breach of over 145 million Americans' personal information.
The new findings included only US consumers, but Equifax also said personal information of 8,000 Canadian consumers was impacted, down from an initial estimate of 100,000.
"You're really just required to notify everybody and say, so sorry, so sad", Barton said to Smith.
Smith also said Equifax was "disappointed" with the rollout of a special website and call centers to deal with the fallout from the breach.
"As CEO I was ultimately responsible for what happened on my watch".
Smith said he would expect Equifax to "cooperate" with "particular legislation that arises out of this horrific breach".