Parasol & Brookson – simultaneous cyber attacks.

Posted in: Microsoft 11/02/22

The umbrella organisations that manage payroll for contractors have become rather cash rich of late and there is no doubt some antipathy from the freelance community having to move into a closer relationship since the changes to IR35.

Payroll company Giant was hit with a malicious attack back in September 2021 that caused it to shut down services. Yesterday, the other two most established organisations in the market Parasol and Brookson suffered similar attacks that caused them to pull the plug on services while they attempted recovery.

It must be a very worrying time for contractors to these organisations who will not get paid properly until there is a resolution. They have put in a mitigation of payroll advances so that their customers can hopefully pay their mortgages.

At the moment it appears that these attacks were aimed at being malicious rather than a smash and grab for data or financially motivated. Dealing with both personally identifiable information and more sensitive financial information all of these umbrella companies have a requirement to weigh up the risks and consider both “state of the art systems” and “Privacy by Design” under GDPR. I imagine the ICO taking a keen interest in these incidents.

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