Cyber attacks: Happy Talky Talky?

You may recall the cyber attack on Talk Talk last year, in which it was revealed after investigation that some of their UK customers banking and personal data could have been accessed.

According to government research, it is estimated that two-thirds of big UK businesses have been hit by a cyber attack in the last year. It goes on to say that seven out of ten attacks could have been prevented. As private investigators, this got us wondering how many attacks are actually reported? Surely this can only have a negative impact on customers’ confidence? How much of our personal information is in the hands of criminals, and how much fraud has occurred because of this?

This is obviously a major problem, not just in the UK but worldwide. Last year Anderson Chance’s experienced private investigators uncovered a ‘gang’ working in the overseas call centre of  a major telecoms company, who were selling their clients’ confidential information. Our investigations revealed major security issues within the call centre, and identified  the individuals concerned.

Whilst action was taken by the company concerned, this information never became public.

As private investigators, our job is to investigate fraud and security issues in cases like this. But it does seem that companies here in the UK and overseas need to protect their data to a higher standard.

The UK Digital Economy minister, Ed Vaizey, has stressed how critical it is that businesses are secure, and that the government is investing £1.9bn over the next five years to tackle and investigate cyber crime, and a new National Cyber Security Centre will offer security support.

But in the work we do with companies as private investigators, helping them identify and prevent fraud, it seems to us that many companies don’t understand the importance of protecting third-party data. And until they do, cyber crime will continue to  affect all of us.