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Poor data security is biggest financial crime risk, says FSA

The FSA has revealed that poor data security is currently the biggest risk to the FSA’s financial crime objectives.

Speaking at the 1st – The Exchange annual conference in Coventry, FSA financial crime operation team member Robert Gruppetta said: “The Home Office estimates that ID fraud costs the UK economy £1.7bn every year.

“Which? shows one in four adults in the UK has had their own identity misused, or know someone who has. Customer data is really easily transportable and there is a very mature market for selling data online. Data has a real cash value for criminals and is a valuable commodity that needs to be protected.”

During July to December 2007 the FSA visited 39 firms to assess the measures they have in place to secure customer data. Only eight of the 39 had good controls in place to prevent data loss, eight didn’t lock away customer records at night and only 15 had shredding facilities.

Gruppetta is now urging companies to step up the governance, training, disposal methods and physical security they have in place to safe-guard client data.

He said: “It’s all about a risk based approach. It is not a one-size-fits-all solution. We are relying on you to think about the risks to your business and to put in place appropriate systems and controls that are proportionate to the scale and complexity of your business.”

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