The information of approximately 52,000 people was lost by the industry body through a portable device.
An insurance industry regulator, the Investment Industry Regulation Organization of Canada, has announced that it will be increasing its internal security right away following the loss of the personal data of brokerage firm clients.
The regulator issued a warning to the brokers and their clients regarding the loss of the data.
What this insurance industry body shared was that one of its personnel had allowed a “portable device” to go missing. That machine contained the personal data of about 52,000 customers of brokerage firms in the country. The warning was directed both at the brokerage firms and at the customers, themselves.
The insurance industry regulator stressed the importance of security and added that steps had been taken to manage the issue.
According to the Investment Industry Regulation Organization of Canada CEO, Susan Wolburgh Jenah, the “IIROC deeply regrets this unfortunate but isolated incident and apologizes for the disruption caused to clients and affected firms.” She went on to add that “The protection of confidential information is critical to us and we have taken steps to address the situation and to immediately strengthen our internal controls.”
At no point within the insurance industry organization’s statements was information revealed regarding the type of device that went missing, who was responsible for the loss, and precisely when the machine was lost. It did state that at this time, there has been no indication that there is any attempt by unauthorized parties to access the data that the device contains.
Also unknown is whether the insurance industry data contained within the missing device is protected in any way – such as through encryption – in order to prevent it from being easily read by the wrong individuals. The statement released by the CEO did not reveal how much data was contained on the device, other than the fact that it was information about 52,000 people who are customers of 32 different brokerage firms doing business within the country.
The IIROC is responsible for the creation and enforcement of regulations regarding the insurance industry’s business, proficiency, and investment conduct including that of investment firms as well as their workers.