Dixons Carphone Faces Serious Reputation Damage Following the Latest Data Breach
Dixons Carphone recently announced a massive data theft that could compromise millions of customer accounts. The breach dates to July of 2017, although Dixons claims to have only just become aware of the situation. It appears the hackers were primarily focused on data processing systems at Currys PC World and Dixons Travel stores, two of the telecommunications company’s major UK brands.
What’s at Risk for Consumers?
The scale of the breach is enormous. Current estimates put 5.9 million payment cards and 1.2 million personal data records at risk. While readily admitting that financial data was stolen, Dixons has hastened to reassure customers that as yet no fraudulent activity has been noted on the compromised accounts. The most effective protection appears to be good old chip and pin technology. Of the nearly 6 million financial records, it appears only 100,000 non EU cards that don’t incorporate chip and pin have been leaked.
This doesn’t mean customers’ information is secure, however. Stolen bank card information obviously leads to the most immediate financial consequences, but other types of personal data such as name, address, and email can help hackers hijack your accounts or compromise your identity at a later date. Dixons Carphone has notified customers whose accounts appear to be at risk, but anyone who has recently conducted business with the company should be cautious.
Severe Consequences for Dixons
This is not the first time Dixons Carphone has had security issues. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) recently fined Carphone Warehouse, another Dixons brand name, £400,000 in relation to a 2015 data breach, citing ‘systematic failures’ involving ‘rudimentary, commonplace’ security protections.
Dixons Carphone CEO, Alex Baldock, had already announced a profit drop for the year just last month, and the company is set to close 92 Carphone Warehouse stores as it adapts to Britain’s post Brexit referendum currency fluctuations amid the changing mobile market. The latest announcement is likely to make the company’s financial difficulties even more acute. Dixons Carphone shares dropped three percent almost immediately following the news and the ICO will no doubt launch a new investigation into the cause of this latest breach.
Baldock has been quick to express his ‘disappointment’ and assure customers that data protection is one of the company’s highest priorities. Meanwhile, the National Cybersecurity Centre is working with Dixons Carphone and other companies to understand why breaches occur and work on mitigating their effects. Unfortunately, a sincere apology may not be enough to reassure customers that their information is secure.
If you think your personal data may have been compromised, don’t hesitate to contact ReputationDefender. Our privacy experts can help minimise the damage and work to keep your information safe in the future.