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Urgent Warning from Regulator: Investigate Data Breach Now or Risk Severe Consequences

The FCA warns firms, including major insurance and pension companies, to assess the impact of the recent Capita data breach and take immediate action.

2 mins read

Key Takeaways:

  • The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) urges clients of Capita to investigate their data and IT systems following a ransomware attack in late March.
  • FTSE 100 insurance firms, including Aviva and Phoenix Group, along with pension firms such as Pension Insurance Group and Rothsay, are among the affected clients.
  • Organisations must be prepared to respond to cyber-attacks promptly and effectively, with the right protocols and technology in place to mitigate data, financial, and reputation damage.

In a recent development, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has issued a stern warning to clients of Capita, urging them to conduct thorough investigations into their data and IT systems following a devastating ransomware attack that occurred in late March. This alarming development has triggered concerns about the security and integrity of sensitive information within various sectors, including FTSE 100 insurance firms and pension companies.

FCA Calls for Urgent Reviews

The FCA has taken proactive measures to reach out to Capita’s clients, emphasizing the need for a comprehensive review of their systems and a swift response to potential data breaches. Among the affected clients are Aviva and Phoenix Group, both prominent insurance companies in the FTSE 100, as well as Pension Insurance Group and Rothsay, leading players in the pension industry. The FCA’s primary objective is to ensure that these firms are fully aware of the extent of the data compromise and take appropriate action to address any vulnerabilities.

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In a statement, the FCA expressed its ongoing engagement with Capita since the cyber incident was reported, aiming to gain a clear understanding of the impact on the firms that rely on Capita’s outsourced services and their underlying customers. This proactive approach by the regulatory authority highlights the significance of robust cybersecurity measures and prompt response protocols in today’s evolving threat landscape.

Heightened Cybersecurity Preparedness: A Critical Imperative

Achi Lewis, Area VP EMEA for Absolute Software, a cybersecurity expert, emphasizes the need for organizations to remain vigilant in detecting, preventing, and recovering from cyber-attacks. Lewis states that given the value of data to all organizations, every entity becomes a potential target. Therefore, organizations must be prepared to respond effectively when an attack occurs, rather than hoping it will not happen to them.

Lewis further stresses the importance of having the right protocols and technology in place to restore IT systems promptly and mitigate the damage caused by breaches, especially when they involve ransomware. A comprehensive recovery posture, including prompt reporting of cyber-attacks, enables partners and customers to protect their systems and prevent further damage. By promptly contacting the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and customers in the event of an attack, proper investigations can be initiated to address potential threats. Lewis also highlights the significance of leveraging technology measures, such as self-healing capabilities, to repair devices and applications and restore cyber programs swiftly, minimizing the risk of reinfection and ensuring a quick and secure return to normal operations.

FCA Demands Full Engagement and Understanding

The FCA, acting swiftly to address the Capita data breach, has written to all FCA regulated firms that are clients of Capita, urging them to fully engage in understanding the extent of any data compromise. This proactive communication from the regulatory authority underlines the importance of a thorough assessment to identify potential vulnerabilities and take appropriate action to protect sensitive information.

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The ransomware attack that targeted Capita’s systems for over a week was claimed by a notorious cybercrime gang. During the breach, threat actors gained unauthorized access to data and disrupted customer-facing services, resulting in significant disruptions and potential compromises of sensitive information. The stolen data includes client information, job applicant details, payment information from Capita Business Services’ Capita Nuclear unit, and even internal floor plans.

It is imperative for organizations affected by the Capita data breach to prioritize thorough investigations, implement robust cybersecurity measures, and strengthen their response capabilities to prevent any further unauthorized access or breaches. The FCA’s warning serves as a wake-up call for the industry, urging firms to take immediate action to protect their data, financial standing, and reputation.


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