According to a report by Bloomberg, Barclays, the U.K. investment bank, has accidentally revealed names of their clients to the German Finance Agency. The data breach occurred as a result of Barclays sending an incorrect file to the Agency in February of 2017.
Barclays sent out several reconciliation emails to customers who were affected by the breach of privacy, claiming that the mistake was due to human error. While client information is intended to be kept confidential, trade data is usually submitted to the German Finance agency on a month to month basis.
Upon confirmation of the data breach, Alexandra Beust, chief spokeswoman of the German Finance Agency, said that the organisation had alerted Barclays immediately. In response to the alert, Barclays terminated all data related to the breach.
Since client confidentiality is unimpeachable in the investment banking and trading industry, the breach comes as a big blow to Barclays’ reputation amongst its new and existing clients. While protection against cyber attacks and data breaches appears to becoming more and more difficult in today’s world, it is crucial for companies, no matter their size, to take out the necessary precautions in securing sensitive information. Without ensuring a higher level of security, small and large companies continue to put themselves at risk of major consequences including but not limited to large financial losses, loss of long term clients and loss of reputation. The old adage remains relevant: reputation can take more than 20 years to build and only 5 seconds to destroy.
To protect you company’s reputation simple steps must be taken. From educating your staff to using special software that scans your network for critical data. Our Critical Data Auditor and PCI Card Checker will help your company locate sensitive data saving you from ruining your reputation.
Barclays continue to face major hits on their reputation this year from other compliance issues including Jes Staley, the CEO’s attempt to unveil a whistle-blower – a direct violation of the bank’s bylaws ensuring anonymity. The CEO faces the penalty of a fine or losing his job entirely.
Barclays was also under fire for the overbilling of 2,000 clients by the sum of $50 million. The clients were charged with fees for various tasks including due diligence and monitoring of third party investment managers, that were not performed. In May, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced an enforcement action against Barclays Capital.
The bank has vowed to invest billions of pounds to digitise and automate its processes in an effort to slash costs, reduce the threat of human error, and make it strenuous for market rigging scandals to take place.