An accountant data breach could lead to a significant amount of personal and sensitive information being misused or exposed, which is why the rights of victims to claim compensation is important.
Accountants and accountancy firms are in that category of companies responsible for processing and storing a great deal of sensitive information. The most obvious type of course is financial information, both on a personal level and on a company level.
Accountants are a target given the wealth and the nature of data they hold, so it’s important that they ensure they’re properly defended. Where a breach occurs, victims can be entitled to make a claim for data breach compensation.
Huge risks of accountant data breach incidents
There are huge risks when it comes to accountant data breach incidents, both in terms of the risk of them taking place, and the impact that they can have.
Accountants and accountancy firms – especially smaller ones – can be seen as easy targets for criminals. They hold the type of information that can be valuable for either fraud or for ransomware purposes, and some hackers will know that some firms have the money to settle ransoms to avoid the humiliation of a leak.
When you consider the nature of the information they hold, it’s easy to see why they’re a target. The data that could be exposed can include a wealth of financial and personal data for multiple company employees, including banking information, National Insurance numbers, salary information, ID documents, addresses, tax information and P60s, etc. It can also include commercially sensitive data about company finances and assets.
In the wrong hands, this kind of information could do some very serious damage.
Reasons to be worried
For companies, the reason to be so worried about an accountant data breach is that it’s the information for your company and employees that’s in the hands of someone else.
You can only control what you can control. An organisation may have the best kind of defences there are on the market, but if their accountancy firm doesn’t, there’s a wealth of your information that can be easily exposed.
Ultimately, the organisation the data belongs to remains a data controller. Although a claim for compensation could go against the accountancy firm, it’s still your company’s information that you are responsible for.
It’s a big doorway that hackers can break down, and targeting smaller firms and self-employed accountants can lead to easy breaches in some cases. Everyone needs to properly protect themselves and the data that they store and process. GDPR is clear in terms of what needs to be done, but there can be huge differences between what two different companies will do when it comes to data protection practices.
Accountant data breach compensation claims
As a victim whose information is misused or exposed as a result of an accountant data breach, you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation on a No Win, No Fee basis.
Data breach compensation pay-outs in cases like this can be large given that its sensitive and financial data that can be exposed. Victims may be able to claim for any financial losses incurred and for any distress caused by the loss of control of personal information.
IMPORTANT: advice on this page is intended to be up-to-date for the 'first published date'.
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First published by Matthew on October 30, 2019
Posted in the following categories: Claims Data Employee Data Breach Financial Data Breaches Security and tagged with compensation | cyber attack | cyber crime | cybersecurity | data controllers | database security | personal data