South Staffs Water: Cyber-attack

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 7:10 pm on 14 December 2022.

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Photo of Marco Longhi Marco Longhi Conservative, Dudley North 7:10, 14 December 2022

Thank you, Mr Deputy Speaker, for allowing this Adjournment debate.

In July this year, South Staffordshire PLC, the parent company of both South Staffs Water and Cambridge Water, experienced a criminal cyber-attack. The incident involved the theft of data from its IT systems. Following the incident, it found evidence that some of its staff and customer data had been accessed. With investigations still ongoing, it has now been confirmed that at least 249,000 customers who pay by direct debit—pretty much all of my Dudley North constituents and myself included—have now seen their personal contact and banking details available on the dark web.

The incident took place in July this year, and customers have only in recent weeks been made aware of the real scale of the damage. I did meet virtually with the South Staffs team yesterday, ahead of this evening’s debate. To their credit, they are seemingly taking the issue much more seriously than initially perceived. It is clear that no business wants to harm its customers or be the victim of a cyber-attack.