Business Essentials for Professionals


British Airways CEO Tenders Apology For Data Breach

British Airways CEO Tenders Apology For Data Breach
An apology to customers was issued by the chief executive of British Airways Alex Cruz who described the most recent hack in the airline’s website base as a very "sophisticated, malicious criminal attack". The airline confirmed that the hackers had stolen personal and financial details of customers who had booked flights with the company over the internet.
The company said that the hack had affected about 380,000 transactions. However, no travel or passport data of customers had been stolen data.
The company added that the security breach had happened between 22:58 BST on 21 August and 21:45 BST on 5 September.
"The breach has been resolved and our website is working normally," BA said in a statement.
"We have notified the police and relevant authorities. We take the protection of our customers' data very seriously."
The company had contacted all of the customers who had been affected by the data breach on Thursday night. The company also clarified that those data that were input by customers who bought tickets within the timeframe given by it were only affected and not of transactions done on other occasions.
"At the moment, our number one purpose is contacting those customers that made those transactions to make sure they contact their credit card bank providers so they can follow their instructions on how to manage that breach of data."
The airline has a network of partners that monitor websites around the world, Cruz said. The airline was alerted about the breach by such a partner on the evening of Wednesday, 5 September and the company set out to investigate the cyber breach overnight in order to identify the extent of the attack.
"The moment that actual customer data had been compromised, that's when we began immediate communication to our customers."
The Information Commissioner's Office of UK, which is investigating the breach, would most probably place a fine against the airline. 
There was a drop of 3.1 per cent in the shares of the airline during early trade on Friday.
The incident is also be being assessed by the National Crime Agency and National Cyber Security Centre of the UK.
"We're extremely sorry. I know that it is causing concern to some of our customers, particularly those customers that made transactions over and app,” Cruz said.
"We discovered that something had happened but we didn't know what it was [on Wednesday evening]. So overnight, teams were trying to figure out the extent of the attack.
The company is now focused on contacting the customers whose transaction details have been compromised, Cruz added, so that it can be made sure that they in turn are able to get in touch with their credit card bank providers to get definitive instruction to manage the data breach.
The airline also said that the hackers had decamped with name, email address and credit card information of customers. The credit card details include the credit card number, expiration date and the three -digit CVV code at the back of the credit card.
 The British Airways assured customers that no CVV number of credit cards are stored by it according to the regulations of international standards as stipulated by the PCI Security Standards Council.

Christopher J. Mitchell

Markets | Companies | M&A | Innovation | People | Management | Lifestyle | World | Misc