May 2017 Ned the intern sat back in his chair, which revealed his white socks and Rockport dress shoes. "We are the Fort Knox of consumers' most private personal records! We need more security controls at many points along the way to prevent hackers from getting in!" Ned belted out in a squeaky voice.
"Thanks Ned, that'll be all," Dick the CEO said as Ned exited. Doing his best squeaky voice impression, Dick said "We are Fort Knox!" to a room full of patronizing laughs from the other executives.
June 2017 Ned the intern shuffled into the boardroom. "We are the Vatican Secret Archives of consumers' most deeply personal data!" Ned proclaimed. "We hold exactly the kind of data that institutions use to verify people's info and protect against hackers!"
"Thanks Ned, that'll be all," said Dick the CEO. Ned pushed up his glasses and pulled up his pants as he stumbled out. Roars of laughter filled the room and the execs slapped each other on the back. Dick yells out "Murphy's nephew really does wear his ass as a hat!"
July 2017 Ned the intern rushed in, arms overhead, which showed his Van Heusen dress shirt tucked into his underwear. He exclaimed "Our main server's load is incredibly high right now! Someone could be siphoning out info from our network of 300 million consumers! We are the Rottweiler of consumers’ most precious records and we need to at least investigate this data stream!"
"Thanks, Ned, that'll be all," said Dick the CEO. No one laughed this time. Joe, the Chief Info Officer, asked Dick "Should I check that out?" To which Dick said "Even if Ned the intern’s onto something, we don't give a rat's ass about the consumer records we hold. Business as usual."
July 29th, 2017 "We've been hacked! HACKED! 143 million records are stolen! The cybercriminals are probably selling the info to some nation-state like Russia as we speak! We need to warn consumers ASAP!"
"Thanks Ned, that'll be all," said Dick. Ned turned, tripped on his untied shoelace, and fell face first into the glass door, causing all executives to cringe. Ned jumped up smiling. "Don't worry guys, I'm A-okay!" Ned squealed on his way out.
John the CFO turned to Dick and gravely said "This is not good, Dick. Here's the plan: I'm gonna wait about 6 weeks before announcing this to the public. That'll give me some time to vest my last slug of stock and sell them off." Dick responds assuredly "Good thinking, John. Anyone else with unvested stock do the same!"
September 7th, 2017 "Now that we've finally announced the hack, we need to setup a website so consumers can find out if they've been affected!" said Ned the intern.
To this, Dick said "Great idea Ned! Make it a simple WordPress website without any of the security features you'd expect out of a site asking you to give your last name and 6 out of the 9 digits of your Social Security number.
“Oh, and no matter what name a person puts in, make sure it always says 'Your personal info may have been impacted by this incident.' (turns to CFO) I can't wait to type in 'Ben Dover'!"
September 8th, 2017 "We need a good lawyer! Someone might file a lawsuit against us for the breach!" Ned screamed out at the top of his lungs. John the CFO responded "Ned, Ned, change the website so that if a consumer types in their name, they give up the right to sue us for any damages we caused them!"
September 9th, 2017 "Consumers don't trust us anymore and they're afraid to give us more personal info over the web!" Joe, the Chief Info Officer, chimed in and said "Ned! Ned! Set up a 1-800 phone number that only you will man so that it's busy for all the 143 million idiots that actually call in!"
September 10th, 2017 Ned walks into the boardroom wearing a colorful wig, face full of white makeup, size-20 red shoes, colorful checkered clothing and a red nose. “Thanks for giving me a full-time job, Dick!” Ned proudly announced. “Why the hell are you dressed as a clown, Ned?” To which Ned responded “I want to fit in!”
Disclosure: Ned’s a fictitious character. Dick, however, is real: his name is Richard Smith, CEO of Equifax. If Equifax would’ve hired someone like Ned and listened to him, then 143 million consumers wouldn’t be anxious and busy freezing their credit and changing their passwords. If you haven’t already, please read this. Please also go freeze your credit at all 3 credit agencies so that no one with your info can purchase a Toyota online later today.