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The University of Greenwich hit headlines earlier this week when it was reported that the ICO had hit them with a £120,000 fine.

The fine landed as a result of a ‘serious’ data breach involving the leaking of almost 20,000 personal records.

19,500 records of students, staff and alumni were leaked online in 2016 after an academic and student had gathered data records on a microsite in 2004 in order to carry out a training conference.

The personal data included the likes of names, addresses, dates of birth, phone numbers and even signatures. In some of the cases, there were even records of both physical and mental health problems available to see.

Following the completion of the conference, these records should have been deleted or at the very least secured, but neither of these procedures were implemented, meaning the data was instantly compromised meaning a data breach was inevitable.

The university has announced they will not be appealing the fine and the ICO has revealed that if the fee is paid promptly, they will only be required to pay a reduced amount of £96,000.

This data breach has been recognised by the ICO as the first one to come from a university, and it has been branded as a serious contravention.

Head of enforcement at the ICO, Steve Eckersley said:

“Students and members of staff had a right to expect that their personal information would be held securely, and this serious breach would have caused significant distress.

“The nature of the data and the number of people affected have informed our decision to impose this level of fine.”

The university understands the severity of this situation, and they have revealed they have taken extra measures to improve their data security since this incident in 2016.

Data breaches are unfortunately relatively common, but you can work to prevent them. Here at SCS, we are able to assist you in ensuring your machinery and software is up to date and secure to minimise the potential for you to be involved in a security hack.

Call us today on 01522 883636 or email us on sales@scstechsolutions.co.uk and we will be more than happy to help.

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