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Marriott Hotel data breach - Comments from Fujitsu

November 2018 by Marc Jacob

In light of the data breach of the Marriott hotel whereby half a billion customers have been affected, the comments on the story from any cyber security experts, please see below comments from Sarah Armstrong-Smith, Head Continuity & Resilience at Fujitsu UK & Ireland:

“Whilst cybercrime has risen up on everyone’s agenda, the scale of the data breach on Marriott underlines the magnitude of these attacks and the consequences they can have. The effort required to combat breaches is industrial. Organisations are no longer fighting against individuals, but a sophisticated criminal industry, designed solely to access and exploit their data.

“Customers are going to have very strong feelings regarding this breach as it entails particularly sensitive information such as passport, emails, names, addresses and potentially payment card details. The way the situation is handled therefore will be crucial, as it is not necessarily the incident itself that causes reputational damage for companies, but the way it is handled – it’s positive that Marriott has already set up a call centre and website in order to communicate easily with customers.

“When breached, organisations will invariably issue a statement from the board to reassure customers and the market that security and data protection is taken very seriously. The root of the problem is that in truth, it’s not always a top priority until after a breach. Cybercriminals are entrepreneurial, well-funded and well-motivated. Instead of remaining reactive, organisations must transition to a proactive stance in identifying and containing breaches and communicating with their customers about how best they can work together in order to protect their data. Safeguarding customer data and business assets starts with a two-way communication process based on trust and transparency. As the number of these threats continue to increase exponentially, organisations need to make their resilience to cyberattacks and data breaches a top priority

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