A LEGAL expert has said Southern Water’s response to customers following a cyber attack is “not sufficient” to compensate those whose data has been put at risk. 

The water firm confirmed it suffered an “illegal intrusion” after it was named on the cyber criminals’ site on January 22, putting the personal details of up to 500,000 customers and employees at risk.

It is believed that data including names, dates of birth, national insurance numbers, bank account details and reference numbers could have been stolen.

A spokesperson for Southern Water said it is currently working with independent cybersecurity experts to monitor the “dark web.”

READ MORE: Southern Water says customer data hit by cyber attack

In a recent statement released to its customers, Southern Water offered those affected “enhanced Experian credit monitoring, free of charge, for the next 12 months.”

Hampshire Chronicle: Eleanor ColemanEleanor Coleman (Image: JF Law)

But Eleanor Coleman, a data breach solicitor at JF Law, said it is “not sufficient to compensate clients properly for this breach of information.”

She said: “We are aware that there has been a cyber attack on Southern Water, the latest in a long list of cyber attacks on various organisations and companies in the last year. 

“We appreciate it is concerning for clients to find out that their personal and sensitive information has been subject to a cyber-attack, especially when it relates to financial and banking information. 

“We also understand that it is difficult for clients to feel that they have any control over their personal information when these attacks occur; especially in the case of Southern Water where clients do not have a choice in water provider and cannot switch to a different organisation. 

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“We understand that Southern Water has offered Experian credit monitoring for 12 months, which we would recommend is a good option for clients to accept, but it is not sufficient to compensate clients properly for this breach of their information.”

The Southern Water statement reads: “Since the incident, our IT security teams have worked with independent incident response experts, using enhanced monitoring and protection tools to check actively for any suspicious activity on our IT estate. Southern Water’s operations and services to customers have not been impacted.”

Southern Water was targeted by another cyber attack this month. The utility company warned five to 10 per cent of its customers’ data could have been stolen.

LegalExpert.co.uk, owned by JF Law, offers specialist advice to those regarding data breach claims. It operates a 24-hour helpline and live chat service which can be accessed on its website. For more advice go to databreachclaims.org.uk/data-breach-compensation/southern-water.