July 24, 2019

British Airways Has a Costly Compliance Problem: Don’t Be Like BA

Lou Corriero

Lou Corriero
Senior Vice President Business Development/IT Vortex, LLC

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The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is not a joke, and today British Airways is finding that their multi-million dollar fine from the organization is no laughing matter, either.

On May 25th, 2018, the GDPR became the compliance “law of the land”. That’s when it took over regulations for European Union nations, positioning itself as a global leader in compliance, impacting businesses in countries around the world.

Since then, enterprise business leaders have waited to see who would be the hardest hit by fines associated with GDPR compliance. The latest big company to fail against GDPR compliance rules is British Airways. 

Why, you ask, has the airline giant who flies more than 120,000 people a day, come into the sights of the regulatory agency? That’s a great question.

The answer is a data breach that compromised the information of 500,000 customers. What’s the cost of such a breach?

According to the GDPR, it’s 183 million pounds. 

Under pre-GDPR regulations, the maximum fine for a breach of this nature would have been 500,000 pounds. While the U.K. Commissioner can confirm the breach was substantial enough to raise alarms, British Airlines is surprised and disappointed by the news of the high fine. BA's Chairman and CEO, Alex Cruz, made a statement saying the airline "responded quickly to the criminal act to steal customers' data."

According to the BA media website, British Airways is based at London Heathrow, the world's busiest international airport, and flies to more than 200 destinations in 75 countries across the globe. British Airways flies from London's premium airports, Heathrow, Gatwick and London City, and from 16 UK airports in total.

If a security breach can happen at the hands of illegal hackers to a company as large as British Airways, how are you protecting your enterprise from bandits who seek to steal from you and put you out of compliance with GDPR?

A compliance fine can significantly impact you financially. Don’t risk it! Instead, partner with IT Vortex for your security consulting and implementation needs. IT Vortex's Security as a Service Solutions can not only get you compliant but keep you compliant in the ever-changing tech landscape.

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