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What can you do if you are the victim of a bank data breach?

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Financial data breaches and cyber attacks are on the rise. Not only did retail banking see 2400% more data breach reports last year than the year before, but breaches in a whole range of companies are putting our financial data at risk.

What is causing financial data breaches and cyber attacks?

In 2018, seven UK retail banks, including Santander, Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays and Tesco Bank suffered sustained attacks. These attacks cost them hundreds of thousands of pounds. Furthermore, over £500m was stolen from British banking customers in the first half of 2018.

Cryptocurrency is also being targeted by criminals. In fact, each year, the equivalent of millions of pounds is being stolen from cryptocurrency holdings. As such, cryptocurrency fraud is a very serious crime.

There are a few reasons why data breaches and hacks are happening. These include:

Cyber attacks

A cyber-attack can take many forms including financial data hacks, financial phishing attacks, bank and credit card takeover fraud and push payment scams.

To make matters worse, cybercriminals are becoming increasingly sophisticated. For example, AI-assisted imposters are set to become an increased threat. With machine-learning and the Internet of Things (IoT) helping to make existing cyber-attack efforts faster, more formidable, and more effective.

Inadequate security processes

In many cases, financial data breaches happen because of a failure to implement reasonable and robust processes.

This can include things like not implementing or updating secure firewalls, password controls, operating systems, anti-virus and anti-malware software or reliable encryption. Also, companies that fail to establish regular and robust backup processes or don't take steps to identify, record and secure personal data are putting this information at risk.

Human error

It is human error rather than cybercrime that is the biggest cause of financial data breaches. In fact, in the UK, 88% of data breaches caused by human error, not cyberattacks.

Typical examples of such errors include:

  • Sending sensitive data to the wrong recipient (via email, post or fax)
  • The loss of paperwork
  • Forgetting to redact data
  • Storing data in an insecure location
  • Losing devices such as laptops, phones and tablets
  • Staff deliberately ignoring data protection policies
  • Managers not training staff on data protection
  • Leaving sensitive information online without any password restrictions.

How can you protect yourself following a financial data breach or cyber attack?

To protect yourself following a financial data breach you should:

  • Contact your bank/credit card provider immediately
  • Consider a credit freeze until the matter is resolved
  • Report the scam to the police and contact Action Fraud for advice on what to do next
  • Keep an eye on your bank and credit card statements to see if there is anything you don't recognise
  • Let the credit reference agencies know of any activity that was not down to you
  • Register with the Cifas protective registration service. This will slow down credit applications made in your name with additional verification checks made to ascertain that the applicant is actually you.

For more advice on how to keep your data safe, follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Alternatively, if you have been the victim of a financial data breach or cyber fraud give us a call to discuss your case in more depth.

Making a financial data breach claim

If you want to claim compensation for a financial data breach case, our professional, friendly team will advise you on whether you have a valid claim. Our process is fully compliant with ICO guidance, and we never put your details at risk. We will NEVER pass your details onto anyone without your permission.