PHS Maxitech alarmed by 250 per cent increase in data robbery cases

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As research reveals that cases of data robbery have reached a record high, PHS Maxitech advises small businesses to wipe their IT equipment before disposal to protect their confidential information from theft.

PHS Maxitech

PHS Maxitech

Theft of confidential information cases have increased by 250% since 2010

Research from law firm EMW published in August showed that the number of High Court cases relating to the theft of confidential information has increased by a staggering 250% since 2010. In 2010 there were just 45 disputes focusing on the theft of confidential information. By 2011 this had risen to 106, and 167 by 2012.

According to the report, most cases relate to disgruntled employees taking critical business information before leaving the company. Stealing data has been made easier in recent years with the growing popularity of remote access, which allows employees to access company systems anywhere at any time.

However, PHS Maxitech reminds small businesses to be aware of other methods of theft, such as taking sensitive information from old IT equipment. Anthony Pearlgood, managing director of PHS Maxitech said: “This research shows a clear increase in the number of cases of data theft in recent years.

“But whilst many data breaches come from unhappy employees, organisations also leave themselves vulnerable to theft by failing to dispose of their redundant hardware securely. When deleting a file from the computer it is not removed completely, and can be easily accessed by thieves using widely available software.

“Small businesses are particularly at risk of this type of theft, since they are less likely to have a confidential data policy in place to regulate the disposal of company equipment.”

PHS Maxitech advises businesses to use an IT disposal service to avoid the heavy financial penalties that can be enforced for the loss of confidential data. The Information Commissioner’s Office can issue fines of up to £500,000 for serious breaches of the Data Protection Act.

Anthony Pearlgood said: “Small businesses holding any sensitive information must ensure that their IT equipment is disposed of correctly so that it is not vulnerable to theft and misuse. A popular way of doing this is to outsource data destruction to an IT disposal company like PHS Maxitech.

“At PHS Maxitech, we wipe all computer hard drives to the highest possible level, eliminating even the smallest traces of data from the system. So whilst data robbery may be on the rise, you know that you are taking as many steps as possible to prevent your business from being targeted.”


Notes for editors
About PHS
The PHS Group is a leading workplace services provider, and has traded in the UK since 1963. It has a diverse service portfolio aimed at improving work and leisure spaces, while making life much easier for facilities, building and people managers.

PHS really does ‘do more than you think’, providing products and services for:

  •     Crate rental and packaging
  •     Interior and exterior planting
  •     Laundry equipment and workwear
  •     Matting and flooring
  •     Records storage and management
  •     Shredding and recycling
  •     Testing and compliance
  •     Washrooms
  •     Waste management
  •     Water machines
  •     Workplace consumables

PHS provides these direct to UK companies, and also operates as a tier one supplier to the facilities management market, supporting the integrated service propositions of most of the major FMs.

The PHS Group’s annual turnover for the year ending March 2012 was £422 million. It employs around 5,000 personnel, operates from a wide network of 153 regional service branches, and takes care of over 250,000 customers at over 450,000 locations in the UK, Ireland, Holland, Belgium and Spain.

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Chloe Hibbert
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