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Marriott hotel system Data Breach could cost $12.5 Billion in damages

It was recently announced that there was a Marriott data breach exposing 500 million users personal details. The data breach comprised the details of the Starwood Hotel branches which included names, addresses and passport numbers resulting in shares subsequently falling by 5.6%. 

Although Marriott has their headquarters in America, the breach will fall under the European – wide GDPR rules which could mean that Marriott could face a financial penalty of up to 4% of the companies global revenue for the breach.  Hackers were able to get the financial data of a maximum of 327 million users with an unknown number containing encrypted credit card data.  

Two Oregon men are also allegedly suing Marriott for exposing their data with both lawsuits seeking class-action status. The lawsuit could be set reach up to $12.5 Billion in cost and losses. This is priced at the value of $25 dollars for each of the 500 million users that were affected by the data breach.  

Breach Uncovered  

Those who have stayed at the Marriott’s Starwood branded hotels within the last 4 years were affected by this data breach. This cyber-attack was also the second highest ever hack, tied with the Yahoo breach in 2013 which also saw over 500 million user’s data comprised. 

Originally the Marriott breach occurred in 2014 but was made apparent to Marriott as of September. “On September 8th 2018, Marriott received an alert from an internal security tool regarding an attempt to access the Starwood guest reservation database in the United States. Marriott quickly engaged leading security experts to help determine what occurred” it was revealed in a statement from Marriot earlier last week. Marriott said forensic experts were able to decrypt the data that the attackers stole from the Starwood hotel chain guest’s database. 

This is the latest in a recent long list of cybersecurity hacks including the likes of British Airways, T-Mobile US and Metro PCS , further highlighting the need for robust cyber resilience measures to be taken by the worlds largest companies. The complexities of these data breaches continue to rise with hackers taking unique approaches to getting valuable data and transferring massive funds from companies.  A host of interesting cyber security stats indicate that this will continue to be a trend going forward with many companies not aware of the severity and implications of a large or small scale security breach. We are yet to see the true total financial or reputational damage this breach will have on the prestigious Marriott brand, however, it is clear that the sheer scale of this cyber-security breach will be felt for a long time.  

If you are concerned about your own IT security why not check out our own tailored Security Solutions  or get your business Cyber Security Certified or have Advantage IT Support to make sure that your current set up is up to scratch and up to date.  

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