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International financial services employee steals 2.3 customer records

Calum Macleod, European Director for Cyber-Ark, a company specialising in protecting sensitive data for companies and their customers, has expressed his concern at another major breach, where 2.3 million customer records have been stolen from a subsidiary of Financial National Information Services (FNIS), the Florida-based financial processing company.

According to US newswire reports, an employee of one of FNIS' subsidiaries stole around 2.3 million customer records, 99,000 of

which included credit card details of the customer concerned.

"My understanding is that information was stolen from Certegy Check Services, an FNIS subsidiary, and then sold to a number of direct marketing companies," said Macleod, who added that customers had then received marketing material from the firms concerned.

"I'm sure the marketing companies acquired this information in good faith, but the onus should have been on FNIS and its subsidiary to protect the integrity of customer data," he went on to say.

"That protection should have centred on using a protected and encrypted digital safe for the data concerned, to which only senior

managers had complete access. Access for specific employees could then be limited to only that information they needed, and certainly not the whole 2.3 million customer records," he said.

"The only good news is that FNIS and Certegy have moved swiftly to counter any further damage to their reputations, as well as notifying all the customers affected. I hope the customers get the apology and ID theft prevention support they need," he added.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.