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Hayes Connor highly commended in innovative marketing award

Data breach and cybersecurity specialist Hayes Connor Solicitors was highly commended for its innovative marketing at The Symphony Legal Annual Conference held in Hinckley in September.

The firm was recognised for its client focused approach to marketing with its use of technology to simplify the enquiries process and increase speed of response, alongside its content and PR strategy to raise awareness of consumers’ data protection rights, highly commended.

Kingsley Hayes, managing director at data breach and cybersecurity specialist Hayes Connor Solicitors, said: “We strive to deliver excellent customer service and this involves the whole process from educating consumers on their data privacy rights through to making it easy for individuals to make a claim following a data breach which may have an impact on them financially and psychologically either now or in the future.

“We were delighted to be recognised amongst our peers during a period of significant growth with the team growing from just four to twelve in the past 12 months alone.”

Rich Dibbins, digital strategy consultant and judging panel member at Symphony Legal said: “Hayes Connor demonstrated that it has successfully positioned itself as a consumer champion in the data protection space. We were impressed with the firm’s client focused approach to marketing and business development placing clients at the heart of everything the firm does.”

Hayes Connor Solicitors was also Highly Commended for Boutique Firm of the Year at the Modern Law Awards held in January 2019.

The firm was recently appointed as data protection supplier to the Communication Workers Union and is currently acting for thousands of claimants with data breach action against Ticketmaster, Equifax, Marriott International, TeamSport, Dixons Carphone and the Police Federation of England and Wales.

 

Today’s Legal Cyber Risk, 13th September 2019

Kingsley Hayes raised concerns about data protection on mobile phones following news that a serious cyber security risk had been exposed affecting one billion smartphones. The significant gap in security was only identified following an independent third party’s research.

Exposure of smartphone security risk demonstrates a worrying trend

Cybersecurity firm Check Point recently exposed a serious vulnerability in smartphones using the android mobile operating system which would allow a hacker full access to an individual’s emails with one simple text. *

Android is the most popular operating system globally with the research identifying that 1 billion smartphones were vulnerable to a cyber attack via a text message that could not be differentiated from an authentic message from the network operator.

Kingsley Hayes, managing director at data breach and cybersecurity specialist Hayes Connor Solicitors, said: “The finding demonstrates a worrying trend of businesses only realising lax cybersecurity when it is exposed by a third party. This indicates that implementing robust preventative measures, and regularly reviewing cybersecurity, is still not top of the agenda – as it should be – for far too many organisations

“As most of us are now heavily reliant on our mobile phones for work and personal purposes, it is disconcerting that it has taken an independent third party to expose the lack of cybersecurity on such a significant number of smartphones.

“It is extremely worrying that such a serious failure in robust cybersecurity was not identified and prevented by the network operators themselves.

“The consequences to an individual of a hacker gaining full access to the emails on their phone can be far reaching. With many using their smartphones for both business and pleasure, a cyber attack could potentially cause significant harm – both to the individual and their employer.

“It is quite shocking to consider the ramifications of a hacker having full access to a wealth of private data contained within emails. Offline, this would be equivalent to giving a burglar the keys to someone’s house allowing them to open all their personal post dating back potentially years.

“The financial and psychological impact of a malicious attack, made so easy by network operators in this instance, can result in serious consequences such as identity theft, financial fraud and more.

“What this news also reveals, sadly, is that cybersecurity is still not being taken seriously enough by businesses. The high sales and heavy usage mobile phone sector should arguably be proactively leading the way in cybersecurity.”

The news revealed that the smartphones affected are Samsung S9, Huawei Pro, LG G6 and Sony Xperia with reports confirming that both Samsung and LG have since introduced a fix.

Hayes Connor Solicitors was recently appointed as data protection supplier to the Communication Workers Union. The firm is currently acting for thousands of customers with data breach action against Ticketmaster, Equifax, Marriott International, TeamSport, Dixons Carphone and the Police Federation of England and Wales.

*https://bit.ly/2lLGOKX

Today’s Legal Cyber Risk, 10th September 2019

We commented following the exposure of a data breach by Teletex after it was discovered that thousands of customer calls had been stored unsecured for three years. The calls contained customers’ postal and email addresses, phone numbers and dates of birth. Kingsley Hayes comments that the latest breach is a stark reminder that storing private information in the cloud does not mean that that data is automatically secure. 

Teletext data breach exposes risk of cloud storage usage

It was announced last week that Teletext, the trading name for package holiday firm Truly Travel, had risked customers’ personal data following the discovery that 212,000 customer call recordings had been left on an unprotected server for three years*.

The recordings took place between April and August 2016 with many including details of holiday bookings exposing postal and email addresses, phone numbers and customers’ dates of birth.

Kingsley Hayes, managing director at data breach and cybersecurity specialist Hayes Connor Solicitors, said: “This latest breach exposes the risk of using cloud storage without ensuring that the information is held securely. Cloud services are not secured by default and this may prove a significant risk to businesses who may be unaware of this.

“It has been reported that the audio files were unsecured for a three year period exposing Teletext customers to potential identify theft and other fraudulent activity over a lengthy period. Any private data held by a company, regardless of the format of that information, needs to be stored, processed and shared securely – this includes any historic archived files that can easily be forgotten.

“Companies are starting to be more savvy about data protection post GDPR however, historic practices may leave them vulnerable to potentially hefty fines and compensation claims.”

Hayes Connor Solicitors was recently appointed as data protection supplier to the Communication Workers Union. The firm is currently acting for thousands of customers with data breach action against Ticketmaster, Equifax, Marriott International, TeamSport, Dixons Carphone and the Police Federation of England and Wales.

*https://bit.ly/2jZ3kiU

Today’s Legal Cyber Risk, 29th August 2019

The majority of data breaches occur due to preventable human error. We featured on Today’s Legal Cyber Risk commenting on a report exposing that while employees are recognised by businesses as the greatest risk to data protection, it appears that many are still not providing adequate preventative measures, including educating staff.

Hayes Connor Solicitors reports eight-fold increase in data breach claims

Data breach and cybersecurity specialist Hayes Connor Solicitors has reported an eight-fold increase in claims in the past 12 months.

The North West based firm has seen a surge in both mass data breaches and individual cases following data protection violations in the public and private sectors.

Kingsley Hayes, managing director at data breach and cybersecurity specialist Hayes Connor Solicitors, said: “Since GDPR came into effect, there have been a number of high profile data breaches involving the private details of thousands of UK consumers. Hayes Connor has experienced significant growth in this period which has been driven both by greater accountability following GDPR and heightened consumer awareness.

“We have continued to invest in our people, our systems and our marketing to deliver an exceptional service to clients who have suffered potential, or actual, financial losses and who may also have experienced mental health issues as a result.

“The cost to businesses who fail in their data protection obligations is rising. We estimate that the cost of compensation for damages will be upwards of £20 million following mass data breach incidents such as Ticketmaster, British Airways and Marriott International.

“This is in addition to the hefty fines now being issued by the ICO. Insurance underwriting in relation to cyber insurance is likely to be tightened in the coming months, particularly as reports show that the vast majority of businesses are still failing to implement robust measures to prevent incidents from taking place.

“Businesses need to urgently review their cybersecurity to avoid facing increasing, and potentially uninsured or uninsurable risks around claims costs.”

Offering more than 50 years’ experience, Hayes Connor Solicitors helps individuals secure compensation following data protection breaches and other cyber offences such as computer fraud, identity theft, defamation, hacking and phishing scams.

Hayes Connor Solicitors 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, Marriott International, TeamSport, Dixons Carphone and the Police Federation of England and Wales. The firm was recently appointed as data protection supplier to the Communication Workers Union.

 

Law Gazette, 30th July 2019

Hayes Connor featured on the Law Gazette with news of our data breach claim against the Legal Ombudsman after it circulated an email to a number of recipients exposing all their email address details.

 

BusinessUpNorth, 30th July 2019

Kingsley Hayes comments on BusinessUpNorth about the hidden dangers of internet use and the predicted rise in data breach claims against businesses who not only hold, but distribute data including manufacturers of equipment such as smartphones.

Today’s Legal Cyber Risk, 30th July 2019

We were very pleased to be appointed by the Communication Workers Union (CWU) to provide data protection representation for its members following incidents of a data breach. The organisation has more than 200,000 members including Royal Mail, Santander and EE.