A laptop containing employee details has gone missing from the Eden Project in Cornwall.
The organisation has confirmed that a laptop with National Insurance numbers, bank details and other identifying information on 500 of its employees was stolen from the car of a Moorepay employee.
Moorepay is the third-party organisation that handles the Eden Project's payroll.
Jamie Cowper, European marketing director at data encryption company PGP, believes that the issue highlights key vulnerabilities.
"As well as putting internal security measures in place, enterprises need to be more cautious regarding third-party companies with which they share sensitive information such as payroll details," he said.
"Without a thorough assessment of the threat status of companies such as Moorepay, existing security policies can easily be rendered useless."
Cowper maintained that, in spite of continuing instances of laptop theft, companies still put their information in jeopardy by storing it in an insecure way.
"All organisations need to deploy pre-emptive security measures such as encryption to ensure that, if a breach does happen, the data is of no use to the criminals, thus minimising financial and reputation damage," he said.
"The Eden Project has pledged that personal data will never be put in such a vulnerable position again, which shows that it has learned a valuable lesson about the dangers of entrusting personal information to third-party contractors.
"Hopefully, other companies will not have to go through the same process before taking the decision to protect their data properly."
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