Leading Irish energy and gas provider Electric Ireland has recently warned 8,000 residential customers that their personal information was “inappropriately accessed” in a third-party data breach.
While Electric Ireland says only a small portion of its 1.1 million residential customer accounts were accessed without authorization, the energy giant has expressed concerns regarding the misuse of personal and financial information within compromised accounts.
“Electric Ireland is aware that an employee of a company working on our behalf may have inappropriately accessed a small proportion of our 1.1m residential customer accounts leading to the potential misuse of personal and financial information,” the company said. “Our investigations have established that approximately 8,000 customer accounts may have been compromised.”
Electric Ireland is continuing its investigation alongside local law enforcement and data protection authorities and has issued letters to all impacted customers, who are advised to contact their bank. Victims were also given advice and instructions on how to mitigate fraud.
No further details of the breach have been offered at this time.
“Electric Ireland fully appreciates the gravity of this issue and the concern and inconvenience it will create for those affected customers,” the company said in a statement. “Customers affected by this issue, who may have experienced any fraudulent activity on their financial accounts in relation to data they gave to Electric Ireland, have been asked to contact the company directly.”
What should users do if they find themselves in a similar situation?
Data breaches that lead to the unlawful access of customers’ personal and sensitive information occur every day. Given that any security incident and leak of personal information brings immense financial and privacy risks to victims, users must have a dedicated action plan to limit the immediate risks to their identity and financial security.
We recommend vigilance, awareness and good cyber hygiene, including:
· Closely inspecting unsolicited correspondence
· Monitoring online accounts, including financial accounts against any suspicious activity
· Reporting any fraud attempts or activity to businesses and law enforcement
· Changing passwords or updating them to cybersecurity standards
· Monitoring for data leaks online
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Additionally, with the industry-first Identity Protection Score and personalized risk map, you can understand how every individual data breach can affect you and take the necessary corrective steps to protect your identity.