Business Technology

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Loyaltybuild: Firm at centre of hacking breach back in business

Published 12/03/2014 | 02:30

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Data Protection Commissioner Billy Hawkes
Data Protection Commissioner Billy Hawkes

THE company at the centre of Ireland's biggest data hacking breach is back in business, four months after it suspended its trading.

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Loyaltybuild has been given the all-clear to begin operations again by the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner, which has concluded an investigation into the security practices and procedures operated by the firm. A garda investigation into the theft of almost 90,000 Irish customers' credit and debit card details and more than one million European customers' personal data is ongoing.

The Irish Independent understands the firm has resumed business operations in European countries. Loyaltybuild – which is based in Clare – specialises in online marketing campaigns for retailers, such as discounted travel breaks for loyalty schemes.

"The company had ceased its processing of personal data until such time as it could satisfy this Office that adequate security measures are in place," said a spokesman for the Office of Data Protection. "I can confirm that their processing of personal data has re-commenced."

The spokesman said that a formal investigation by data protection commissioner Billy Hawkes is nearing completion and a finalised report with recommendations will be issued "in the near future".

The spokesman added that most of its recommendations have already been implemented by Loyaltybuild. Last November, Loyaltybuild revealed that around 90,000 Irish customers' credit and debit card details were hacked from its systems. Those affected included SuperValu, Centra, AXA and ESB customers.

Loyaltybuild's resumption comes as Europol's head of cybercrime, Troels Oerting, warned that hacking attacks are on the increase in Europe.

According to the Irish Reporting and Information Security Service, the number of reported web attacks on Irish companies has jumped from 432 to 5,802 in the space of a year. Meanwhile, more than half of Irish companies have fallen victim to a data breach in the last 12 months, according to the Irish Computer Society.

Irish Independent

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