When Jamil Farshchi takes the stage this morning at InfoSec World 2020 to deliver the keynote “Leaders Needed: Preventing the Next Big Breach,” no one would doubt the Equifax CISO knows from whence he speaks. After all, he joined the credit monitoring company after a devastating breach reported in 2017 exposed information on tens of millions of customers, called into question the credit reporting company’s security practices, tarnished its reputation, ignited Congressional probes and resulted in the retirement of its CEO. Since moving to Equifax from Home Depot in 2018, Farshchi has spoken candidly with SC Media about the company’s efforts to learn from the breach and become a leader in security.

SC Media: Equifax was the target of a heap of criticism – and a good bit of anger – after the breach.  What was behind the calculation to speak openly about the incident rather than let it fade away as subsequent incidents grabbed the headlines?

Jamil Farshchi: Most companies when a breach occurs say “oh, crap,” and keep their heads down. From the very beginning we wanted to be an example and help others learn and grow from what happened to us. It’s part and parcel of our strategy to be transparent.

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