Economy

British Airways fined £20m for data breach affecting 400000 customers

British Airways fined £20m for data breach affecting 400000 customers”

The ICO finalized a fine of almost 20 million pounds ($26 million) in connection with a 2018 data breach that exposed the personal information of about 430,000 customers.

British Airways has also shown diligence in applying all of the appropriate security and data protection measures.

The investigation of the United Kingdom data protection watchdog concluded that British Airways failed to protect its customers on multiple levels, missing numerous opportunities to discover and mitigate the hacker attacks that resulted in the data breach.

In addition, the ICO pointed to the "anxiety and distress" that individuals suffered as a result of the disclosure of their personal information, and disagreed with BA's contention that payment card breaches are an "unavoidable fact of life", commenting: "These statements trivialize what was a serious failure on BA's part". That's why we have issued BA with a £20m fine - our biggest to date.

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'This was considered to be a severe failing because of the number of people affected and because any potential financial harm could have been more significant'.

In June 2019 the ICO issued BA with a notice of intent to fine. The ICO notes that, but for the Covid-19 Policy which allows it to take account of the impacts of the pandemic, the original fine would have been £24m. "The law now gives us the tools to encourage businesses to make better decisions about data, including investing in up-to-date security".

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A British Airways spokeswoman said it was sorry it fell short of its customers expectations but was pleased the ICO recognised it had made considerable improvements to the security of its systems since the attack.

The hacker who attacked British Airways could have had entry to the names, addresses and bank card info for some 244,000 clients, regulators mentioned.

British Airways could have taken several low-cost steps to prevent the risk of such an attack, such as limiting access to applications and protecting accounts with "multi-factor authentication", officials said.

A further 77,000 customers had their combined card and CVV numbers accessed, and an additional 108,000 customers had just their card numbers accessed. Usernames and pin numbers of BA Executive Club accounts also were compromised.

It was two months before BA was made aware of it by a security researcher, and then notified the ICO.

Mr Gallego is hoping to spearhead a recovery for the airline and is thought to have wanted a new face at the helm of BA, with Mr Cruz's relationship with workers, unions and politicians growing increasingly fractious. The airline was accused of threatening a "fire and rehire" scheme which saw some employees facing pay cuts of up to 50 per cent.



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