Due diligence reminder following report of spike in cyber incidents in the financial sector

Hayes Connor SolicitorsBy Legal Futures’ Associate Hayes Connor Solicitors

According to a recent report, the financial sector has suffered a 1,000% increase in cyber incidents in 2018 compared to the previous year.

The data was exposed following a Freedom of Information (FOI) request by RSM to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). According to the findings, businesses in the financial sector had reported 819 incidents last year compared to just 69 in the preceding 12 months.

Kingsley Hayes, managing director at data breach and cybersecurity specialist Hayes Connor Solicitors, said: “GDPR will account for much of this increase as businesses are now obligated to report themselves. The findings provide further evidence that cybersecurity breaches at the hands of hackers are not to blame in most instances with just 11% of reported cyber incidents caused by hackers.

“The top three root causes were found to be third party failures, hardware and software issues, and change management. This is further evidence that most cybersecurity incidents can be better managed, and the associated risks minimised, if due diligence is carried out at both the business level and throughout the supply chain.

“Every report published in recent months exposes that only a minority of organisations are treating cybersecurity as a priority. Consumers of all products and services place their trust in businesses to protect their personal information.

“That trust forms the basis of all client relationships and when this is compromised following a violation of personal information, businesses stand to ultimately lose.

“What is happening in the financial sector will be mirrored in many others as few are doing enough to meet their data protection obligations. It’s a ticking time bomb until more is done to review and prioritise cybersecurity at senior level in all businesses.

“Law firms should take heed given their particular vulnerability with the volume of client information and client monies held.”

Hayes Connor Solicitors is committed to client care. The firm was recognised for its innovation, ability to compete with multi-practice law firms and for exceeding client care expectations in the Modern Law Awards 2019.

Hayes Connor Solicitors is currently representing more than 200 claimants against Dixons Carphone. It is anticipated that the ICO will soon announce the size of the fine faced by the owner of high street brands including Currys and PC World following its data breach.

The firm issued a claim for damages of up to £5 million against ticketing giant Ticketmaster in the High Court in April and is also acting against Equifax, British Airways, Marriott International, Amazon and the Police Federation for England and Wales.

For more information about Hayes Connor Solicitors, visit the website at www.hayesconnor.co.uk


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