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UK IT Security Risk: Outdated Systems Threaten Businesses

The archaic technology employed in the IT systems of His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) poses a significant threat to the UK, potentially resulting in a massive data breach if not modernized. According to HMRC’s privacy policy, they retain a broad range of personal information, including names, titles, addresses, telephone numbers, personal email addresses, gender, marital status, dependents, National Insurance numbers, bank account details, income information, employment details, business activities, domestic and business property information, passport data, and driving license particulars.

In the event of an attack or system malfunction, all this sensitive data could be exposed to vulnerabilities. However, it’s not solely malicious hackers that could undermine the system’s integrity; the aging IT infrastructure, lacking support and updates, becomes increasingly susceptible to technical failures over time.

Inadequate IT security poses a universal risk.

The consequences of an attack on UK businesses would be dire. The vulnerability will grow if IT systems remain unaltered.

Countries like Russia, China, and North Korea, alongside cybercriminals and other organizations, could aim to exploit UK computer systems. Their motives range from data theft to harming the economy.

Revamping Whitehall’s IT infrastructure, although costly and likely funded by taxpayers, remains without established plans.

Conservative MP Harriet Baldwin, who chairs the Treasury committee, expressed concern about the potential long-term damage to vital public services due to outdated IT equipment. The committee plans to address this during regular scrutiny sessions with HMRC, she told The Independent.

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