Data Breaches An Increasing Problem

Data Breaches – An increasing problem that is here to stay

There seems to be constant news report of companies, government agencies and non-profit organisations losing sensitive customer data. Reports in 2013 and regulators all over the world show that this is a rising trend.

In 2012 the UK Government issued a ten step guidance to businesses on how to protect themselves from Cyber Security Threats, only 30% of large organisation had used this guidance according to INFORMATION SECURITY BREACHES SURVEY 2013 . The implementation of these practices are very patchy especially amongst small businesses.

There were 821 breaches recorded in 2011-12, received by the Information Commissioner’s Office. In2013, 335 data breach incidents occurred between 1 April 2013 – 30 June 2013. According to the 2013 survey this has continued to increase. Small businesses seem to be affected more than they have ever been before. Studies suggest there is

lack of training and awareness, monitoring and weak network security.

The Information Commissioner’s Officer persuades companies to keep people’s records and data secure by introducing strict fines of up to £500,000 which was launched in 2010. There are also monetary penalty notices which are posted publically.

According to Experian, a global leader in identity theft protection, 19.7 million pieces of data were traded illegally online during the first six month of 2012.

Many businesses seem to think data breaches are ‘hackers’ but a breach could be accidental, possibly done by your own employees. Companies don’t think this will ever happen to them; until it does.

In a recent seminar  Zurich Insurance mentioned the largest emerging risk for companies is their reputation being tainted after a data breach. In an era where social media and online awareness is a key marketing factor can you afford to be uninsured against this loss?

There are more and more stories of data breaches being shown in the media today with records rising more and more, however it’s not just the large organisations being hit.

In September last year the Information Commissioner’s Office website reported publicly, that SME Company Jala Transport Limited had suffered a data breach meaning ICO investigation was undertaken. The data controller’s sole proprietor was driving to work and had stopped at a junction. A thief reached in through an open window and stole his briefcase from a seat in the car. An external hardrive in the briefcase contained 250 customers’ details including; name, address, contact number, date of birth, nationality, passport number & proof of address.

This is just one story, many readers would have heard of the large Sony data breach back in January 2013, however although we are learning from the tragic stories of others this year there have already been two more data breach stories reported on international companies; Tesco and Barclays Bank.

Just this year 10th February 2014, the financial website ‘this is money’ reported a whistle blower had revealed that 27,000 clients’ details at Barclays Bank had been sold on the black market. The news story reports that ICO, the police and City Watchdogs are investigating what is thought to be one of the worst data breach case ever. The full story can be found here.

Then of course there is one of the nation’s favourite supermarket chains Tesco. On 14th February this year it was reported that Tesco had also been a victim to computer hackers who had posted over 2,000 customer personal details online. It reported that 40 million credit and debit cards had been compromised. This resulted in shares dropping as low as 0.1 percent into the red for the UK grocers. It just proves that incidents like this can have a massive impact on the business in questions reputation. The full story of which can be viewed here.

It is possible to insure against liabilities arising form breaches of client data and privacy via a Cyber Liability policy. For more information see our previous blog Here.

ADF Insurance has access to many markets that are now providing cyber liability insurance.If you are interested in being insured against the ever expanding risk, please contact us  or visit Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Google+.

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