The Nationwide building society has said it will be tightening security after admitting that a laptop containing data on 11 million was stolen 3 months ago. The building society (Britain’s largest) has apologised and assured customers that they are not at risk of identity theft–this is contradicted by their reluctance to say whether names, addresses and account numbers were leaked. Security experts have speculated that if security thieves intercepted this information it could be used to sign up for credit cards in the customers’ name.
This is just one more example of confidential data being lost with the theft of an unencrypted laptop. While the incident could have been a ‘normal’ domestic burglary organisation need to take note and accept that it may not have been. With identity theft becoming ever more rampant; data must either be encrypted or simply not transferred to such vulnerable devices. Donal Casey of IT consultancy Morse, said “Businesses really need to be asking themselves whether employees need to be carrying around sensitive customer data like bank account details on a laptop. If a criminal steals this information and uses it to commit identity fraud the implications for a financial institution would be huge.”