Handling data securely is vital, advises expert

Handling data securely is vital, advises expert

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Author: Perry Buck

Shoosmiths' head of data protection, Aisling Duffy, has advised companies holding data to protect it carefully.

Aisling Duffy
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Aisling Duffy

This week ebay became the latest household name to suffer a serious data security breach which may have compromised the security of personal data relating to millions of its customers.

The national law firm has a range of expert lawyers working in the field. Head of Shoosmiths' data protection team, Aisling Duffy, said that the fact the incident was not detected for 2 months after taking place generated most concern.

Aisling said: 'Sources indicate that this data security breach took place in late February and early March and that, as a result, hackers gained access to user names, email addresses, residential addresses, phone numbers and dates of birth of many customers who are obviously concerned that ebay failed to take appropriate steps to mitigate and manage the impact of the breach.

'Whilst many high profile data security breaches have been publicised in recent years, it is the impression that large and highly profitable organisations which process significant amounts of personal data, are not taking steps to ensure that data is adequately protected and to be able to properly manage a breach should it take place, that causes most concern and is likely to lead to lasting brand damage.'

Shoosmiths' expert data protection team recommends that companies ask themselves these important questions:

  • Does your organisation have security measures in place to protect the data you hold?
  • Are those measures adequate?
  • What measures are in place to ensure that, if data is compromised, this will be detected?
  • Do you have a data security breach management policy in place to ensure that any such incident is dealt with in a timely and comprehensive manner?