Consumer credit reporting agency Equifax announced a data breach this week that could impact upwards of 143 million customers.

Sources indicate that the breach was actually discovered on July 29, when Equifax realized that hackers had gained access to their system. The company believes that hackers were inside of its network from May until July.

Equifax is now working with local and federal law enforcement agencies to rectify the situation, and is in the process of notifying affected customers about the breach. The company is sending out notifications via mail.

The bad news here is that the list of stolen information was very extensive. Hackers were able to access customer names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, addresses and even driver’s license numbers.

What’s more, as many as 209,000 Equifax customers had their credit card information stolen. And 182,000 more customers had data lifted from dispute documents.

This is no breach to take lightly, as 143 million customers amounts to roughly 45 percent of the U.S. population. This means a large portion of your own customers were probably affected.  This information could easily be used by criminals to assume your own customers’ identities and conduct fraudulent transactions against your organization.

One way to protect your business from fraud following this massive data breach is to offer enhanced safeguards for account logins and transactions. Voice biometric identity verification, for instance, could be used to securely authenticate customers over the phone or a mobile device. Customers would simply have to recite a short phrase to be granted access into their accounts.

Voice biometrics could be used alongside additional biometric security technologies like facial scanners or fingerprint readers, as well as traditional solutions like security questions, passwords and personal identification numbers.

So the big takeaway here is that the market was just flooded with a trove of sensitive consumer data. It’s time to take action to protect your private accounts.

To learn more about how VoiceVault can help, click here.

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