Old Mutual tightens security after customers’ data breach

By Thandisizwe Mgudlwa

CAPE TOWN – Old Mutual, South Africa’s prominent financial services company, has notified its customers of a data breach. This follows the company’s detection of an unauthorised entry to one of its systems..

And this led to some personal customer information being accessed. Old Mutual has said that personal information of a relatively small group of customers in South Africa was accessed.

This included customers’ names, telephone numbers and some investment values’. The finance company also stressed though, that no transactional details, credit card information, banking details, medical information or passwords were accessed.

“We would like to sincerely apologise for any concern this may raise with our customers. We view this case in a very serious light – one customer is one too many. We assure you we are conducting stringent reviews to ensure that no incident of this nature is repeated,” Old Mutual stated.

Old Mutual had informed customers that those affected would be contacted by Friday, 26 May 2017.

It still is not clear though, as to when the breach would have occurred.

“We can confirm that customers’ portfolios remain intact and no financial losses were incurred. Old Mutual detected a case of unauthorised entry into one of our systems. Some personal information of a relatively small group of our customers in South Africa was unfortunately accessed,” the financial group stressed.

“We moved swiftly to close access to the targeted system. Our control processes kicked in to safeguard customer portfolios and we can confirm that no customers incurred any financial loss,” it said in a precautionary notice to all customers.

“Immediate steps were taken to further tighten our security, and our systems and surveillance remain on high alert.”

According to Old Mutual, upon detection, it immediately shut down the unauthorised access point.

And it also took immediate steps to further tighten security controls and protect against any such incident happening in future.

“We have notified the regulators. We are co-operating closely with the SAPS and the investigation is ongoing.

“Following the completion of an intensive internal investigation to fully understand the cause, Old Mutual will take the necessary management actions. Our surveillance and systems are on high alert,” Old Mutual noted.

The group revealed that it ring-fenced the affected accounts. And then contacted clients directly.

Old Mutual further warned customers to be on the look out for any suspicious and fraudulent contact they might have received and report these to the relevant authorities.

June 2017
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