Virgin is a strong brand, so a welter of stories describing Virgin Media’s breach of the Data Protection Act, when it lost an unencrypted disc containing the details of some 3,000 customers, would not have been part of the PR strategy. As a result of a simple management failure – not requiring the encryption of all portable media that contain personal data – it now finds its name and brand logo alongside statements that Virgin Media has been guilty, ‘scolded, ‘reprimanded‘, ‘slammed‘ and ‘rapped‘ for inadequately protecting its customers’ data. Not a pretty outcome!
There is a simple way to avoid this sort of damage – encrypt all portable media! We wrote about this in our Data Breaches Report 2008 and, after the HMRC fiasco, one would have thought that all organisations would, at least, have carried out the encryption part of our recommendations.