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Morgan Stanley fined $60 million for data centre decommissioning oversights

Written by Tue 13 Oct 2020

Customer data remained on data centre hardware that bank sent for recycling

The US federal banking system regulator has issued Morgan Stanley with a $60 million (£46.06 million) fine for not properly decommissioning two data centres in 2016.

According to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the bank failed to assess or address risks with decommissioning hardware at two Wealth Management data centres located in the US, contravening data protection regulations.

This included failing to adequately assess the risk of subcontracting the decommissioning work and performing the necessary due diligence on selected vendors.

The OCC stated that Morgan Stanley also neglected to maintain an “appropriate inventory” of customer data stored on the decommissioned hardware.

As a result of these oversights, customer data remained on equipment after it was sold to recyclers, data included Social Security numbers, passport information and other account information, according to two lawsuits filed against the bank this summer.

In a statement, Morgan Stanley said there was no evidence that this data was misused.

“We have continuously monitored the situation and we do not believe that any of our clients’ information has been accessed or misused.”

“Moreover, we have instituted enhanced security procedures, including continuous fraud monitoring, and will continue to strengthen the controls that we have in place to protect our clients’ information.”

In 2015, Fortune 500 health insurance provider Centene Corporation revealed that six unencrypted hard drives containing protected health information for 950,000 people went missing.

As part of a 2017 data security study, Kroll Ontrack discovered 64 used drives purchased on eBay that still contained sensitive information despite seller assurances that the devices had been effectively wiped.

Written by Tue 13 Oct 2020


decommissioning morgan stanley
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