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

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. For example, following the Ticketmaster data breach, over 60% of all our clients went on to suffer multiple fraudulent transactions on their payment cards.

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., 17th October 2019

Kingsley Hayes featured on with news that Hayes Connor had issued a claim worth an estimated £100,000 million against Equifax in the High Court on behalf of all affected individuals. The landmark legal action is the first time that a law firm has issued a representative data breach claim which could see the Court ordering Equifax to pay compensation to all its affected UK customers to Hayes Connor to distribute accordingly.

Hayes Connor issues landmark £100 million data breach claim against Equifax

North West based data breach and cybercrime specialist Hayes Connor Solicitors is the first in the UK to serve a representative data breach claim in the High Court. The action could see Equifax ordered to pay up to £100 million in compensation to its estimated 15 million UK customers affected by its 2017 data breach.

The action follows the Court of Appeal’s decision on the Lloyd v Google case on 2nd October which ruled that a law firm could bring a claim for compensation for just one affected individual following a data breach and be awarded compensation for the entire affected population. Read more

Southern Health NHS Trust pays settlement in data breach claim

Southern Health NHS Trust has admitted failing in its data protection obligations following an incident which involved a member of its staff accessing and sharing details of a patient’s confidential medical records without consent.

The breach took place in 2016 but was only discovered more than two years later following a Right of Access information request by Fordingbridge resident Robert Richardson. Read more

Salisbury Journal, 13th October 2019

We were pleased to secure £1,500 for our client after he discovered that his local NHS Trust had breached his data protection rights. His confidential medical files were accessed and information shared with a third party without his knowledge or consent.

Liverpool Business News, 9th October 2019

Liverpool Business News featured news of Hayes Connor’s £multi-million data breach claim against British Airways following its 2018 data breach.  Affected individuals have a 15 month window to join the group litigation for compensation.

Today’s Legal Cyber Risk, 7th October 2019

In an increasingly digitised era, more and more of our personal information is stored, processed and shared online. Kingsley Hayes advises on simple tips to help prevent cyber-attacks and maintain robust data protection in Today’s Legal Cyber Risk.

Legal Futures, 4th October 2019

The Court of Appeal made a ground-breaking ruling on 2nd October 2019 reinforcing the value of personal data and adding further weight to action taken against organisations who fail in their data protection obligations. Kingsley Hayes talks about what this means for data breach claims in Legal Futures.

court of appeal

Court of Appeal makes ground-breaking ruling on data protection

The Court of Appeal made a ruling on 2nd October in the Lloyd v Google case which may open the floodgates to data breach claims.

The Court decided that claimants would be entitled to compensation even if the only personal information breached was their email address. It also ruled that a claim would be valid without the requirement to prove a loss or damage as the loss of control of the personal information was sufficient grounds. Read more

Data protection is everyone’s business during Cybersecurity Awareness Month

October marks Cybersecurity Awareness Month, an annual reminder for businesses and individuals that cybersecurity risks are ever present and data protection is everyone’s responsibility.

Preventing data breaches can be as simple as managing password usage across multiple platforms and regularly checking for any compromises according to cybercrime specialist Hayes Connor. Read more