Sony’s Data Protection Breach

06 May 2011

Sony has admitted that it has lost the personal data of up to 77 million customers.  The information lost includes personal data such as names, e-mail addresses and credit card details. 


The data was apparently stolen by computer hackers who managed to access Sony’s systems and download the information.  Sony has apologised to all customers and warned that people will need to be vigilant in case their details are used for fraudulent purposes. 


In Britain the maximum fine that the Information Commissioner can impose for such a breach is currently £500,000.  For a large corporation such as Sony, that’s the equivalent of 20 minutes on the Naughty Step.  A far worse punishment is the bad publicity and loss of customer confidence.


If this can happen to a multi-national business like Sony then it can happen to anyone. 


It is vital that any personal data you hold (for employees, customers, clients etc) is safely stored and cannot be easily accessed.  There may not be a lot that you can do about advanced computer hackers but you must take all the basic steps to ensure that data is as protected as possible. 


Ensure that your business has an up-to-date Data Protection Policy in place and that all staff receive training so that the policy is properly implemented.