British Airways’ GDPR fine is a wake-up call for other companies

British Airways is facing a record fine of $230 million

British Airways’ GDPR fine is a wake-up call for other companies. Source: unsplash.com

British Airways is facing a record fine of $230 million for last year’s security breach when the personal details of roughly 500,000 customers have been compromised.

It would be the largest penalty under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The previous record has been set when French data regulator CNIL fined Google €50 million for a data breach.

British carrier said it would fight the penalty, which is nearly 1.5% of its annual revenue. The company claims there wasn’t any fraudulent activity on accounts linked to the theft. Moreover, British Airways spokesperson said the company responded quickly to the issue.

We’ve been saying for a long time that companies in the travel & tourism sector need to get serious about cybersecurity and this perfectly illustrates why. The Information Commissioner’s Office’s (ICO) strict enforcement of the new rules will have sent a huge shiver down the spine of many a CEO as it demonstrates the ever-present threat of a large financial penalty for any company holding customer data. The size of BA’s fine must serve as a wake-up call for other companies, many of whom are still highly vulnerable to cyberattacks themselves. These companies need to act now and ensure that they are harnessing the latest technologies to protect their customers’ personal data. The action against BA announced today will have sent out a ‘nobody’s immune from punishment’ message and companies must sit up and start to treat cybersecurity measures with the respect they warrant. £183 million is a record fine and represents 1.5% of the company’s annual turnover. However, new GDPR laws permit fines of up to 4%, so it could have been worse, especially when you consider that the details of about 500,000 customers were harvested in the attack
Nick Wyatt, Head of R&A, Travel & Tourism at GlobalData

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