Who can be trusted with confidential data

Posted by Ian Carpenter in Identity Theft on 13 August 2013 - Ian is Operations Director at checkmyfile

Any data breach is particularly embarrassing for the organisation involved. Processes are usually reviewed, heads are almost certainly rolled and undertakings with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) are typically signed.

The shame is there for all to see, but imagine the reaction at the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) when it discovered that it had sent 32,000 pages and 81 audio files of confidential information to the wrong person.

The SFO had just completed an investigation involving aerospace firm, BAE Systems, when it realised that the documents had been missing for a year. The organisation has confirmed that it has recovered 98% of the information which was sent in error. The recipient of the information has not been named.

The incident is being taken seriously by the SFO, with a spokesperson stating, “Any loss of data is a serious matter and the SFO has taken action to ensure no further material can be wrongly sent out. More generally, the Director of the SFO has instigated an independent wide-ranging review of all the organisation's business processes.”

It is a depressing sign of the times that we have come to expect similar breaches at our local council or at our nearest NHS trust, but in this case it’s hard to look beyond the act that the SFO was set up to protect us against fraud, not make matters worse.

The ICO has come down heavily on other organisations with hefty fines being issued recently, but more is clearly needed. A spokesperson for the ICO explains, “We have been made aware of a possible data breach involving the Serious Fraud Office. We will be making enquiries into the circumstances of the alleged breach of the Data Protection Act before deciding what action, if any, needs to be taken.”

Fraud is a serious matter and regular data breaches such as these do little to reduce the ever increasing misuse of personal information. Fines against government funded organisations can only have so much impact, and unless there is a cultural shift in how confidential information is processed these data breaches will, unfortunately, continue to happen.

Ian Carpenter is Operations Director at checkmyfile, has a degree in Business Studies, and is a Graduate Member of the Institute of Credit Management. He can be contacted at ian.carpenter@checkmyfile.com

Identity Fraud: What To Do If It Happens To You

Year on year, there has been a substantial rise in the number of identity fraud cases being reported to organisations such as Cifas, the UK’s fraud prevention service. It’s no real surprise when you consider the crime can be committed from the comfort of someone’s home without ever having to risk showing their face.

Published on 6 Feb 2018 by George Coburn

Full Article

What's a Politically Exposed Person (PEP) & Why is it on my Report?

PEP stands for Politically Exposed Person, which would typically relate to an individual who has a prominent public title or function. If you receive this classification, often you will have to undergo additional security checks when applying for finance. Your credit file will tell you if you have been identified as a PEP, however for most people it isn’t something they’ll need to worry about.

Published on 8 Jan 2018 by Paul Anderson-Riley

Full Article

Brits continuing to fall for HMRC and Apple gift card scam

At the face of it, it seems a bit odd that the company responsible for collecting taxes would request payment from individuals in the form of an Apple iTunes gift card, but according to Action Fraud, this scam has continued to be profitable for fraudsters. The scheme first came to light in May last year and Action Fraud have received hundreds of complaints since then.

Published on 30 Jan 2017 by George Coburn

Full Article

Yahoo’ve been hacked – Yahoo in largest ever reported data breach

In the last two years, we have already been alerted to data breaches at Three Mobile, Tesco Bank, TalkTalk, Morrison’s, Steam and Sage, amongst others. The scale of these hacker attacks have varied. But none have come close to the newest report.

Published on 16 Dec 2016 by Ben Tumilty

Full Article

Lloyds bank letter scam

Millions of consumers have been warned to be vigilant and question written correspondence from their banks following a sophisticated scam which has targeted customers of Lloyds Bank.

Published on 12 Dec 2016 by Kirstie Brown

Full Article

Digital footprints - taking a step in the right direction

Credit reports and the internet are now not too far away from each other in evaluative skill, as there is a lot that can be learnt about an individual from their online presence.

Published on 1 Dec 2016 by Paul Anderson Riley

Full Article

Another giant data breach

Only last year a communications giant had a serious data breach, which left customer’s details in the hands of fraudsters. But following in Talk Talk’s footsteps, the mobile giant Three have revealed that over 400 phone handsets had been stolen thanks to a security breach where fraudsters were able to login to Three’s systems.

Published on 22 Nov 2016 by Ben Ryland

Full Article

The Taxing Scammers

Some people question paying taxes in the first place, so it’s no surprise that around 50,000 people a day are being targeted as a part of a tax refund scam in the UK. Personal details have been shared with scam artists pretending to be government officials claiming that a refund could be due.

Published on 1 Nov 2016 by Paul Anderson Riley

Full Article

British banks still failing to protect customers from ID theft

Consumer group Which? has today criticised some of the biggest banks in Britain for failing to invest in security systems that would better protect their customers from fraudulent activity. This criticism comes as a result of a 64% increase in online banking fraud last year alone, with losses of £133.5m. Fraud for phone banking rose 28%, with losses of £323.3m.

Published on 27 Oct 2016 by Kirstie Brown

Full Article

How Protective Registration Can Help You

One harsh truth about fraud is that if you have fallen victim of one of the many fraud rings operating in the UK, it is quite likely that you’ll be targeted again.

Published on 20 Oct 2016 by George Coburn

Full Article
keyboard_arrow_left

keyboard_arrow_right

We have loads of great customer reviews