Hundreds of workers at Cornwall's Eden Project are at risk of exposure to identity fraud following the theft of a company laptop containing their personal details.The computer was snatched from the car of an employee of the payroll services company Moorepay, which deals with the wages of the environmental complex.
The laptop is believed to contain 500 employees’ names, addresses, bank details, national insurance and phone numbers, and pay rates.
“A computer containing the personal details of employees of a number of companies, including the Eden Project, has been stolen from the car of an employee working for a contracted payroll company,” admitted Tim Smit, creator of the Eden Project. “We are appalled at the lapse of security and are making sure our personal data is never put in such a vulnerable position again.”
Geoff Sweeney, chief technology officer at Tier-3, said this loss demonstrates the risk associated with securing sensitive data in any organisation.
“This incident highlights the need for all companies handling important data to have effective IT security policies and rigorous compliance procedures in place,” he said. “The aggregation and storage of information assets is increasingly making them targets for criminals seeking to profit from the theft of identity details, intellectual property or other sensitive information,” he warned.
In February, the Nationwide building society was fined almost £1 million for security breaches after a laptop was stolen from an employee’s home last year. Another high-profile theft occurred last month, when thousands of Marks & Spencer employees angrily demanded answers after being told they may be at risk of identity fraud, following the theft of a laptop from the premises of a printing firm responsible for the retail giant’s pension letters.