Capita insists no data was compromised by cyber incident that left outsourcing giant’s staff locked out of IT systems
- London-based Capita admitted that an IT issue did affect some client services
- The London-listed business said its staff could now access Office 365 services
- Employees were told not to use virtual private networks, according to The Times
Capita has said none of its data was compromised by a cyber-security incident last week that resulted in many staff being unable to log on to the firm’s IT systems.
The outsourcing company has admitted that an IT issue did affect some client services and disrupted access to its internal Microsoft Office 365 applications.
Employees were told not to use virtual private networks or attempt to reset their passwords, according to the Times, which initially reported the episode last Friday.
Tech issues: The outsourcing company has admitted that an IT issue had affected some client services and disrupted access to its internal Microsoft Office 365 applications
Councils including Barnet, Barking & Dagenham and Lambeth in London, with whom Capita holds contracts, all displayed messages on their website warning that phone lines for council tax, benefits and business rates call centres were not working.
Capita reported on Monday that security was ‘swiftly alerted’ to the problem and that ‘immediate steps were taken to successfully isolate and contain the issue’.
The London-listed business said its staff could now access Office 365 services, which include Word, Excel and PowerPoint, and it is making ‘good progress’ on reinstating other client services.
It did not confirm if the event was a cyber-attack or identify affected clients, but said there was ‘no evidence of customer, supplier or colleague data having been compromised’.
As well as councils and the National Health Service, Capita holds contracts with government organisations like the National Cyber Security Centre, whose parent arm is GCHQ.
It also provides services on behalf of the Cabinet Office, HM Revenue & Customs, the Ministry of Justice, numerous police forces, and runs the London Congestion Charge Scheme.
Besides public bodies, the firm operates call centres for car manufacturer BMW, bookmaker William Hill, Thames Water, telecoms group O2, and the RSPCA.
In annual results released early last month, the outsourcer revealed pre-tax profits slumped by 79 per cent to £61.4million due to a major impairment charge in its portfolio division and the loss of earnings from its various disposals.
Under the leadership of Jon Lewis, who arrived in 2017, Capita has sold off large sections of the company in order to reduce debt, focus on core operations and transform the firm into a hi-tech business.
Among the companies sold by Capita in 2022 included its payment transactions subsidiary Pay360 Limited, two real estate and infrastructure consultancies, and IT services firm Trustmarque.
Capita shares were 1.5 per cent higher at 37.2p on late Monday afternoon, meaning their value has climbed by approximately three-quarters over the past 12 months.