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British Airways hack: Industry reaction and analysis

Various industry experts have offered their analysis of the recent news that British Airways (opens in new tab) has suffered a cyber attack, leading to tens of thousands of frequent flyer accounts being compromised.

Jovi Umawing, Malware Intelligence Analyst at Malwarebytes (opens in new tab)

“This hack poses serious concerns for those affected and the lack of information provided by British Airways only makes it more difficult for Executive Club members to identify and lockdown any weaknesses in their online accounts.

"BA frequent flyers who think they may be affected are advised to follow the company's lead and change their account passwords. Given the suggestion that details from another source might have been used in this attack, it might be a good idea to start using a password manager and ensure sensitive login information isn't being shared between sites."

Richard Brown, Director EMEA Channels and Alliances at Arbor Networks (opens in new tab).

"This hack on British Airways is the latest in a long line of cyber-attacks we have seen over the last six months. The fact that hackers were able to identify the company’s weakness is testament to the fact that companies need to be doing more as the industry continues to evolve.

"In today’s threat landscape, organisations need to be vigilant and ensure they have the right security in place to deal with hackers. What’s becoming essential, especially for larger organisations and high-value targets, is having the ability to detect and contain threats quickly – even when they make it past the perimeter defences.

"This isn’t all about technology – although having the right tools helps – as people and process are key in this.

Tom Armstrong, UK Manager at Dashlane (opens in new tab)

"This latest attack on British Airways should serve as a pertinent reminder that anyone and everyone who has an online account, of any nature, needs to know they are their own first line of defense when it comes to online security.

"It’s hugely important not to underestimate the risks encountered when storing personal data online. BA acknowledged that the attacks appear to 'have been the result of a third party using information obtained elsewhere on the internet, via an automated process, to try to gain access to some accounts'.

"It emphasises the need for different passwords for different accounts. If you have this level on security in place, other accounts therefore can't be breached. Our use of online services and the amount of personal information we store on the web is only going to rise - it's estimated that 90 per cent of the world's data was produced in the last two years alone.

"As a result, it's more important than ever to get on top of our digital footprint and take control of our online lives."

Sam is Head of Content at Red Lorry Yellow Lorry, and has more than six years' experience as a reporter and content writer, having held the positions of Production Editor, Staff Writer, and Senior Business Writer at ITProPortal.