Equifax announced last month that Mark Begor, a long-time financial industry executive, would take over as CEO of the company on April 16.
Begor joins Equifax at a time when it’s still recovering from last year’s massive data breach that exposed the personal information of nearly 150 million Americans. The stolen information included Social Security numbers, birthdates and addresses, which can be used for identity theft. It was the largest breach of crucial personal information in history, and led to Equifax’s previous CEO stepping down, as well as several other executives.
Begor spoke to The Associated Press after the company announced they were hiring him. The interview has been edited for length and clarity:
Q: What attracted you to the job?
A: Obviously the breach was a real challenge for business. But I’ve been impressed with how they’ve been responding to it. They have been making heavy investments and focusing on bringing in the right talent to fix what went wrong. But one of my principle goals is really to regain the trust of our customers, of the consumer and the public.
Q: What goes into rebuilding trust?
A: The business is discussing heavily the infrastructure and it’s fortifying its defenses around cybersecurity. As you know, we’re not unique or alone in being impacted by this massive global threat of cybersecurity, and we didn’t have the right defenses in place, but we’re definitely going to have to do that. The second is really spending time with customers, and our partners, to make sure that they know we’re serious about that investment.
Q: Since the breach, there’s been a growing conversation around the fact that people don’t really have any say on how their data is gathered. Are you taking a different approach to looking at how actual Americans’ data you’re collecting is being handled?
A: Consumers do need…