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News

Laptop loss for leading British financial services group

PGP (GB) : 21 December, 2007  (Technical Article)
The spate of data loss incidents continues unabated with "password protected" customer details at risk.
Skipton Financial Services has admitted the loss of a laptop containing sensitive information including names, addresses, National Insurance numbers and fund investment details of up to 14,000 customers. The company informed its customers immediately of the breach, and - although the laptop was password protected - all of the affected accounts have been suspended as a precaution.

Jamie Cowper, Director of Marketing EMEA at data protection expert PGP Corporation, has made the following comments:

"So Skipton has joined the ever-increasing line of UK companies falling victim to a data breach - but despite the negative publicity, the company should be applauded for the rapid disclosure.

This incident comes hot on the heels of Norwich Union being fined over one million pounds for a data breach and the ICO's suggestion that doctors who lose laptops should be prosecuted - but it took the HMRC data breach to really rouse a constructive discussion on the issue.

The sheer volume of data disasters this year has made it clear that today's online society has outgrown the Data Protection Act. The government must make a new year's resolution to not only revise it, but also make clear to organisations that they must start moving away from reactive data protection measures to pre-emptive ones. And as Alistair Darling has recommended following the HMRC incident, encryption should play a major role in security policies going forward."
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