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Policyholders warned of breach


Geographic location was not a deterrent to cyber criminals


INSURER Liberty Holdings’ security breach may expose the data of Northern Cape policyholders and the Province’s residents have been urged to ensure that their systems and information are as safe and secure as possible.

This is according to the managing director of Ukuvuma Cyber Security, Andrew Chester, who emphasised yesterday that geographic location was not a deterrent to cyber criminals.

Liberty share prices plummeted by five percent on Monday, hours after the company confirmed that an external party claimed to have seized data from the firm and was demanding payment.

While the company has maintained that there was no evidence that any of its customers suffered any financial losses, nor has any ransom been paid to the hackers, cyber security experts believe that this most recent security breach was but the most recent development in an alarming trend.

This has forced the Information Regulator to call for an urgent investigation into the matter.

“The breach will affect any individual person whose data, such as ID numbers and addresses, was leaked,” said Chester yesterday. “It doesn’t matter where they are situated.”

Chester suggested that it was important not to share any information or data with an unknown third party and to always be aware of exactly who has access to your data and why.

“Use strong (14+ character) pass phrases, such as “I like playing Golf!!43, instead of weak passwords,” said Chester. “Never use the same password, or PIN, on more than one service, website or application.

“Change any passwords associated with the hack, if you use any Liberty services online, for example. Perform regular checks on yourself online to determine what is available.”

Meanwhile, in a letter to Liberty’s Chief Executive David Munro, the Regulator requested clarity on the origin, extent and materiality of the breach and called for interim measures to be put in place to prevent further compromise.

“Measures taken to inform those affected of the breach will allow these data subjects to take proactive measures against potential consequences of the compromise,” the letter stated.