AUTHOR: Laura Stupple

Airline giant British Airways has today confirmed that businesses need to start taking their cyber security measures more seriously. The chief executive of BA has described the attack as ‘sophisticated’ and ‘malicious’ in what could be one of the most serious UK data breaches ever, with 380,000 payment cards being affected.

 

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The apologies have been issued

The nature of the attack has meant that payment cards have been compromised, resulting in a huge lack of trust between BA and it’s customers. Naturally, BA has apologised for the huge cyber attack which has made many loyal customers doubt the safety of their details. CEO and Chairman of BA, Alex Cruz, apologised for the damage caused, claiming that:

"It was name, email address, credit card information - that would be credit card number, expiration date and the three digit [CVV] code on the back of the credit card"

Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-45440850

These sensitive details are extremely valuable to anyone committing fraud and seriously breach data protection laws. Once malicious hackers have this information they can clone your identity, steal from you and even sell those details on to other criminals.

 

The real cost of a cyber security attack

British Airways is reportedly due to be hit with a hefty £500 million fine for this serious cyber security breach. But what are the real costs to a business after a security breach?

According to IBM’s Data Breach Study data breaches cost the average business £2.48 million in the UK. BA has completely smashed this figure, but not simply because of the fine. Whilst the enormous fine will be at the forefront of everyone’s minds, it’s the loss of returning business and legal case costs that will really sting the airline.

Hundreds of thousands of BA customers will be anxious to find out the status of their claim and understand the true damage to their finances and data safety. It’s things like employing temporary staff to deal with complaints, legal expenses and reputation damage that are the real costs of a cyber security breach this huge.

Shares in International Airlines Group - the owners of BA - have already dropped by over 4% after the breach, proving that the cost of a cyber attack to businesses is higher than ever before.

 

Cyber security has never been so important

Businesses have a duty of care to their customers and when a data breach so severe occurs, it just proves the importance of cyber security education. Moreover, it’s time that businesses are being forced to employ more qualified professionals or risk these incredible attacks which can cost millions.

With the skills gap in cyber security widening all the time, the pressure is on businesses to step up and train their staff or employ skilled workers. According to an ISSA study 70% of cyber security professionals have agreed that their organisation is seeing the effects of the skills gap, which has caused the kinds of phenomenal data breaches like we’ve seen with BA.

As the skills gap grows and our data starts to be seriously compromised, it’s time to ask how businesses are going to secure our data and protect our sensitive information from black hat hackers. Attacks like these legitimise the need for more cyber security professionals and remind businesses how important it is to employ certified ethical hackers.

Our range of cyber security courses include CompTIA Security+, CompTIA CSA+, CASP, CCNA Security, Certified Ethical Hacker, SSCP, CISSP, CISA, CISM, and many more. Find out how these courses will help us close the cyber security skills gap and ensure that our data remains safe in the face of disastrous attacks such as the BA breach.

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