The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform released a report Monday that concluded the 2017 Equifax Inc. data breach that exposed the personal information of about 148 million consumers was entirely preventable.

The congressional committee report disclosed that "after updating the security certificate, Equifax employees identified suspicious traffic from an IP address originating in China" and that "Equifax noticed additional suspicious traffic from a second IP address owned by a German ISP, but leased to a Chinese provider."

Edward McAndrew, a partner at Ballard Spahr in Philadelphia, said the report serves as a reminder for companies that interpersonal relationships play a large part in protecting data and networks.

"The problematic IT structure is really important because it does explain why or provides the context as to how Equifax really failed at something as basic as patching," McAndrew said. "You see this siloing within their IT structure from the security side of the house and the information technology side of the house."

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