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To hackers, personal data is a valuable commodity, as it can be used to carry out many different types of cybercrime. To obtain this data, hackers often target businesses and other organisations with cyberattacks, and when their hacks are successful, this can be a sign of existing vulnerabilities. The data breaches identified by hacks can sometimes be damning evidence of company-wide data protection negligence.
At the Data Breach Lawyers, we know that the main culprits of data breaches are not always hackers, as they can instead be the hacked organisations themselves. If a third party has failed to impose sufficient cybersecurity measures, they may have breached data protection law. We are here to represent anyone affected by such data breaches in their fight for justice, as victims could be entitled to thousands of pounds in compensation – all on a No Win, No Fee basis.
The GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is not really designed to punish the hackers themselves, but to ensure that any individual or third party in possession of personal data (for legal purposes) implements appropriate security measures to protect it. Hacks or data leaks are, however, often provoked by data protection failings within companies. For example, if a company has insecure databases, cybercriminals may be able to locate these holes in the defences and take advantage of them to illegally access information.
Data breaches identified by hacks or leaks can consequently expose hacked companies, many of which are forced to accept a huge portion of the blame for the exposure of personal data.
Although the GDPR makes good cybersecurity a requirement for all data processors, some companies continue to neglect their legal duties, and the repercussions can be severe.
One of the most notable data breaches identified by a hack was the British Airways data breach. The airline suffered two cyberattacks in 2018, in which the personal and financial data of approximately 400,000 customers was exposed. The subsequent ICO investigation revealed that BA had failed to implement sufficient security measures, and had consequently failed to protect the information of their customers.
In the Equifax data breach, a hack was also the key indicator of data protection breaches within the company. Hackers were able to take advantage of cybersecurity vulnerabilities that were already known to Equifax, but which they had failed to take action to resolve.
Data breaches identified by hacks or leaks can be evidence of the lacklustre approach to data protection adopted by many companies. It is unacceptable for companies to carry on with poor data security in the hope a hack will not occur, as hackers can quite easily find and take advantage of these weaknesses.
If you have suffered as a result of a hack or leak exposing your data, you may be able to recover compensation from the third party that failed to protect your personal information. Contact us today to receive free, no-obligation advice on your potential claim, as you could be entitled to thousands of pounds in compensation.