Royal & Sun Alliance, the insurance giant which claims to have been “protecting individuals, families, and businesses from uncertainty for 305+ years”, has been slapped with a £150,000 fine for losing the personal data on nearly 60,000 customers.
The Information Commissioner’s Office was called in to investigate after the firm – which also owns the More Th>n brand – was found to have been less than thorough when it comes to its own data security.
The issue was sparked by the loss of a hard drive device containing 59,592 customers’ names, addresses and bank account details. The device also held limited credit card details of 20,000 customers. The information was not encrypted and the device has never been recovered.
Even the ICO could not determine whether the device had been stolen by a member of staff or a contractor; it simply vanished from the firm’s head office in the leafy town of Horsham, West Sussex.
ICO head of enforcement Steve Eckersley said: “Customers put their trust in companies to keep their information safe, particularly financial information. When we looked at this case we discovered an organisation that simply didn’t take adequate precautions to protect customer information. Its failure to do so has caused anxiety for its customers not to mention potential fraud issues.
“There are simple steps companies should take when using this type of equipment including using encryption, making sure the device is secure and routine monitoring of equipment. RSA did not do any of this and that’s why we’ve issued this fine.”
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