So British Airways have suffered a major IT security incident and data breach. Ok, lets get a few things sorted out first. I do feel sorry for every one of the circa 380,000 customers of British Airways that are affected. I really do. However lets get one thing straight. Let this be some absolute lessons to you all. First this can happen to anyone. Second use different security details for every bank account/credit card/ credit or trade account you have. Use seperate usernames and passwords for each one and do not mix and match. This is will save you again in the future. The way the world is going, if this is the first time you have suffered such an incident, it won’t be the last! I hope you all get any problems you have encountered as a result of this swiftly.
Ok. Let us move on to BA. I have to say I little sympathy for BA here. Their IT has been discussed here in the past, outages, memory leaks and more. These attacks are happening all the time in industry now. Cyber criminals are very persistent and effective but this one goes deeper. BA itself gets plenty of mentions here for other things such as trade unions, swipe cards, customer service and more and its this bit that in my opinion is a key wrapper here.
From the outside looking in to any airline it seems that BA seems to be one of the most difficult to run without a fuss! Even the simple tasks such as getting a plane from some god forsaken hell hole to Heathrow on a Friday night on time! During 22012/2013 only one flight I travelled on with BA out of 105 flights was on time. I am now medically banned from flying because of problems with my ears so I will never find out if things have changed. Easy Jet managed to get about 80 flights to run punctually or early between 2010-2014. They only manged to run one of those 80 late! There have been so many other issues with BA. I banned them from supplying one of my businesses between 2005 and 2008. The ban would have been longer but for the fact that it was only BA who could match the work schedules with a flying schedule.
And so we move on, you cannot seem to go 6 to 9 months or so without something “big” concerning BA cropping up in the media. Even Malaysia Airlines seem to keep out the news and they have has their fair share of news attracting headlines over the years! The only airline that seems to keep up with BA on the headline grabbing front is Ryanair! They haven’t had any business out of me since 1998 again with good reason! I personally think Ryanair actually actively invites the media attention as a way of selling flights!
The big question here for me is why do British Airways find it so difficult to run their business and keep their customers happy and in such a visible way?
Going back to the IT security issue. The law was tightened up this year. The news are touting £500,000,000 fines for BA. I do hope they get a meaty fine on this one for two reasons. One they can sort out their systems and the second reason is that it will send a stark and harsh warning to all organisations to get their IT and data security houses in order and continually keep them that way. Cyber criminals and data thieves try every week to get user data out of my website. They try. They fail every time. I am on the case all the time. This is the way it has to be for everyone