Companies who suffer cyber data breaches may be subject to fines up to €20m


Harry Leech

A recent attack on payday loan company Wonga saw up to 270,000 customers affected
A recent attack on payday loan company Wonga saw up to 270,000 customers affected

If the reasons for complying with the new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) were not already apparent, the results of a new study that shows large falls in share prices of companies who suffer data breaches should get the attention of companies, large and small.

The survey by Oxford Economics, on behalf of Canadian company CGI, analysed the share price performance of 65 companies which had been subject to high-profile cyber breaches in recent years, concluding that each company had lost an average of $645m (€608m) in market valuation, or 1.8pc of their overall value, due to negative investor sentiment following the breaches.

There have been a number of high profile cyber-attacks large companies in recent years, including TalkTalk, Yahoo and Tesco Bank. The most recent, an attack on payday loan company Wonga this week, saw up to 270,000 customers affected.  

According to a statement on the company's website, personal information which may have been compromised includes names, email addresses, home addresses, phone numbers, as well as some bank details.

Wonga does not believe that its customers account passwords were compromised but is recommending that concerned users change their password as a safety precaution. 

Under the upcoming General Data Protection Regulation, which comes into effect in May 2018, companies who suffer such breaches can be subject to fines of up to €20m and may also be subject to litigation by data subjects. 

The DataSec 2017 conference takes place on 3rd of May in the RDS in Dublin.

The event will provide expert speakers, information and insight to help your business comply with GDPR and get the most out of the new legislation.  Click here to book your place now.