Whitby woman, 26, caught deleting company data from previous employer's computer

A 26 year-old Whitby woman has been cautioned for computer misuse.
A 26 year-old Whitby woman has been cautioned for computer misuse.

A 26 year-old woman from Whitby has been given a caution for an offence of computer misuse.

On Thursday 9 May, North Yorkshire Police’s Cyber Crime Unit received a report that a person had gained unauthorised access to a local business’ computer system and deleted company data.

Officers commenced an investigation and a suspect was identified and subsequently arrested.

The arrested person, a 26 year-old woman, admitted the offence of unauthorised acts with intent to impair operation of, or prevent or hinder access to a computer and was given a police caution.

It transpires that the offender was a previous employee of the business who had been dismissed for unsatisfactory performance.

Commenting on the case, North Yorkshire Police’s Cyber Crime Investigator Andrew Rawlings said: “You can take some simple steps to protect your business against security threats.

“Unfortunately, when the employee in this case was dismissed the business did not review their permissions and access privileges or implement password changes. It was this oversight which allowed the offender to easily re-gain access to the administration side of the business computer systems.

“North Yorkshire Police’s Cyber Crime Unit strongly encourage all businesses to have a policy in place which should be implemented when an employee, not only leaves the company but also when they change roles within the company.

“The policy should include reviewing what access privileges each employee requires in order to fulfil their role and any they do not require should be blocked. It should also include the suspension of the employee account when they leave the company.

“We would encourage any business owner who has experienced a similar situation as in this case to report it to us on 101 or to the National Cyber Security Centre using their online reporting tool: report.ncsc.gov.uk.”