Policy - Data Breach


Introduction

This Policy and Plan aims to help Palace manage client data breaches effectively. Palace holds Client Data about our users and subsequent contacts, owners, tenancies and suppliers and other individuals for a variety of business purposes.  Palace also keeps information about financial transactions and bank account details pertaining to Trust Accounts and subsequent trading bank account information.

A data breach generally refers to the unauthorized access and retrieval of information that may include client data. Data breaches are generally recognized as one of the more costly security failures of organizations. They could lead to financial losses, and cause clients to lose trust in Palace.

Scope

This policy applies to all staff members at Palace and any contractors or partners pertaining to our software or Development / Production infrastructure. Employees must be familiar with this policy and comply with its terms. We may supplement or amend this policy by additional policies and guidelines. Any new or modified policy will be sent to staff before being adopted. 

 According to the European Commission, Personal Data is: "any information relating to an individual, whether it relates to his or her private, professional or public life. It can be anything from a name, a home address, a photo, an email address, bank details, posts on social networking websites, medical information, or a computer’s IP address."

Personal Data

Palace defines Personal Data as the broader of the definitions contained in the GDPR (EU General Data Protection Regulation).

Any use of sensitive Personal Data is to be strictly controlled in accordance with this policy.

While some data will always relate to an individual or company, other data may not, on its own, relate to an individual. Such data would not constitute Personal Data unless it is associated with, or made to relate to, a particular individual or company.

Generic information that does not relate to a particular individual or company may also form part of an individual’s Personal Data when combined with Personal Data or other information to enable an individual to be identified.

Aggregated data is not Personal Data

Palace gathers Personal Data for two purposes, to identify and protect the data given to us by our clients, and for internal operations.

Personal Data we gather for internal operational purposes relates to identifiable individuals such as job applicants, current and former employees, contract and other staff, clients, suppliers, and marketing contacts, and the data gathered may include individuals' contact details, educational background, financial and pay details, details of certificates and diplomas, education and skills, and CV.

Causes

Data breaches may be caused by employees, parties external to the organization, or computer system errors.

Human Error
Human Error causes include:

  • Loss of computing devices (portable or otherwise), data storage devices, or paper records containing personal data
  • Disclosing data to a wrong recipient
  • Handling data in an unauthorized way (eg: downloading a local copy of personal data)
  • Unauthorized access or disclosure of personal data by employees (e.g. sharing a login)
  • Improper disposal of personal data (eg: hard disk, storage media, or paper documents containing personal data sold or discarded before data is properly deleted)
     

Malicious Activities
Malicious causes include:

  • Hacking incidents / Illegal access to databases containing personal data
  • Hacking to access unauthorized data via the Coaching App or API
  • Theft of computing devices (portable or otherwise), data storage devices, or paper records containing personal data
  • Scams that trick Palace staff into releasing personal data of clients

Computer System Error
Computer System Error causes include:

  • Errors or bugs in Palace’ Application, or API
  • Failure of cloud services, cloud computing or cloud storage security/authentication/authorization systems

Reporting Breaches

All members of staff have an obligation to report actual or potential data protection compliance failures. This allows us to:

  • Investigate the failure and take remedial steps if necessary
  • Maintain a register of compliance failures
  • Notify relevant parties involved in the breach

Palace will notify any affected clients without undue delay after becoming aware of a personal data breach.

However, Palace does not have to notify the data subjects if anonymized data is breached. Specifically, the notice to data subjects is not required if the data controller has implemented pseudo-anonymisation techniques like encryption along with adequate technical and organizational protection measures to the personal data affected by the data breach.

 Data Breach Team

The Data Breach Team consists of the CTO and COO at the time of the incident.  These individuals involved have the responsibility to make all time-critical decisions on steps taken to contain and manage the incident.

The Data Breach Team should immediately be alerted of any confirmed or suspected data breach via email:

Duncan Abbott (duncan@getpalace.com)
Mandy Welch (mandy@getpalace.com)

The notification should include the following information, where available:

  • Extent of the data breach
  • Type and volume of data involved
  • Cause or suspected cause of the breach
  • Whether the breach has been rectified
  • Measures and processes that the organization had put in place at the time of the breach
  • Information on whether affected clients of the data breach were notified and if not, when the organization intends to do so

Where specific information of the data breach is not yet available, Palace should send an interim notification comprising a brief description of the incident.

Responding to a Data Breach

DATA BREACH MANAGEMENT PLAN

Upon being notified of a (suspected or confirmed) data breach, the Data Breach Team should immediately activate the data breach & response plan.

Palace’ data breach management and response plan is:

  • Confirm the Breach
  • Contain the Breach
  • Assess Risks and Impact
  • Report the Incident
  • Evaluate the Response & Recovery to Prevent Future Breaches 

CONFIRM THE BREACH

The Data Breach Team (DBT) should act as soon as it is aware of a data breach. Where possible, it should first confirm that the data breach has occurred. It may make sense for the DBT to proceed to Contain the Breach on the basis of an unconfirmed reported data breach, depending on the likelihood of the severity of risk.

CONTAIN THE BREACH

The DBT should consider the following measures to Contain the Breach, where applicable:

  • Shut down the compromised system that led to the data breach.
  • Establish whether steps can be taken to recover lost data and limit any damage caused by the breach. (eg: remotely disabling/wiping a lost notebook containing personal data of individuals.)
  • Prevent further unauthorized access to the system.
  • Reset passwords if accounts and/or passwords have been compromised.
  • Isolate the causes of the data breach in the system, and where applicable, change the access rights to the compromised system and remove external connections to the system.

ASSESS RISKS AND IMPACT

Knowing the risks and impact of data breaches will help Palace determine whether there could be serious consequences to affected individuals, as well as the steps necessary to notify the individuals affected.

Risk and Impact on Clients

  • How many people were affected?
  • A higher number may not mean a higher risk, but assessing this helps overall risk assessment.
  • Whose personal data had been breached?
  • Does the personal data belong to employees or clients? Different people will face varying levels of risk as a result of a loss of personal data.
  • What types of data were involved?
    This will help to ascertain if there are risk to reputation, identity theft, safety and/or financial loss of affected clients.
  • Any additional measures in place to minimize the impact of a data breach? e.g a lost device protected by a strong password or encryption could reduce the impact of a data breach.

Risk and Impact on organizations

  • What caused the data breach?
    Determining how the breach occurred (through theft, accident, unauthorized access, etc.) will help identify immediate steps to take to contain the breach and restore public confidence in a product or service.
  • When and how often did the breach occur?
    Examining this will help Palace better understand the nature of the breach (e.g. malicious or accidental).
  • Who might gain access to the compromised personal data?
    This will ascertain how the compromised data could be used. In particular, affected clients must be notified if personal data is acquired by an unauthorized person.
  • Will compromised data affect transactions with any other third parties?
    Determining this will help identify if other organizations need to be notified.

REPORT THE INCIDENT

Palace is required to notify affected clients if their personal data has been breached. This will encourage clients to take preventive measures to reduce the impact of the data breach, and also help Palace rebuild client trust.

Who to Notify:

  • Notify clients whose data have been compromised.
  • Notify other third parties such as banks, credit card companies or the police, where relevant.
  • The relevant authorities (e.g. police) should be notified if criminal activity is suspected and evidence for investigation should be preserved (e.g. hacking, theft or unauthorized system access by an employee.)

When to Notify:

Notify affected clients immediately if a data breach involves sensitive client data. This allows them to take necessary actions early to avoid potential abuse of the compromised data.
Notify affected clients when the data breach is resolved

How to Notify:

  • Use the most effective ways to reach out to affected clients, taking into consideration the urgency of the situation and number of clients affected (e.g. media releases, social media, mobile messaging, SMS, e-mails, phone calls).
  • Notifications should be simple to understand, specific, and provide clear instructions on what clients can do to protect themselves.

What to Notify:

  • How and when the data breach occurred, and the types of personal data involved in the data breach.
  • What Palace has done or will be doing in response to the risks brought about by the data breach.
  • Specific facts on the data breach where applicable and actions individuals can take to prevent that data from being misused or abused.
  • Contact details and how affected clients can reach the organization for further information or assistance (e.g. helpline numbers, e-mail addresses or website).

EVALUATE THE RESPONSE & RECOVERY TO PREVENT FUTURE BREACHES

After steps have been taken to resolve the data breach, Palace should review the cause of the breach and evaluate if existing protection and prevention measures and processes are sufficient to prevent similar breaches from occurring, and where applicable put a stop to practices which led to the data breach.

Operational and Policy Related Issues:

  • Were audits regularly conducted on both physical and IT-related security measures?
  • Are there processes that can be streamlined or introduced to limit the damage if future breaches happen or to prevent a relapse?
  • Were there weaknesses in existing security measures such as the use of outdated software and protection measures, or weaknesses in the use of portable storage devices, networking, or connectivity to the Internet?
  • Were the methods for accessing and transmitting personal data sufficiently secure, e.g. access limited to authorized personnel only?
  • Should support services from external parties be enhanced, such as vendors and partners, to better protect personal data?
  • Were the responsibilities of vendors and partners clearly defined in relation to the handling of personal data?
  • Is there a need to develop new data-breach scenarios?

Resource Related Issues:

  • Were sufficient resources allocated to manage the data breach?
  • Should external resources be engaged to better manage such incidents?
  • Were key personnel given sufficient resources to manage the incident?

Employee Related Issues:

  • Were employees aware of security-related issues?
  • Was training provided on personal data protection matters and incident management skills?
  • Were employees informed of the data breach and the learning points from the incident?

Management Related Issues:

  • How was management involved in the management of the data breach?
  • Was there a clear line of responsibility and communication during the management of the data breach?

Monitoring

Everyone must observe this policy.

The CTO has overall responsibility for this policy.

The CTO will review and monitor this policy regularly to make sure it is effective, relevant, and adhered to.

Consequences of failing to comply

We take compliance with this policy very seriously. Failure to comply puts both the employee and the organization at risk.

The importance of this policy means that failure to comply with any requirement may lead to disciplinary action under our procedures which may result in dismissal.

Was this article helpful?
0 out of 0 found this helpful
Have more questions? Submit a request

Comments

Please sign in to leave a comment.