Just how many reminders do we need to show that Centralized Data is the tech of the past and we need to run, not walk, to the tech of the future?
This week we learned of another one for the record books. Starwood Management, owned by the Marriott Corporation announced that they had a data breach of colossal proportions, one that just might hit most of you reading this post. It will now go down as the largest such breach, and over 10x larger than Facebook’s 50 Million Data Breach earlier this year.
Watch a short video by clicking on the ‘See CNN Report ‘ button above.
500 Million Big Reasons to Implement Blockchain – Now
Starwood’s data breach announcement is not only staggering because of its size, over 500 million possible customers breached, of which 327 million have been defined right now, it’s also scary to learn that this has been happening for over 4 years.
Starwood reports that an “unknown breach” has stolen the following:
- Name, Address, Phone and Email
- Passport number, Date of birth
- Arrival and departure information
- Credit card numbers and expiration dates
If you’re a Starwood member, like me, you might want to keep an eye on your credit cards or go to the Starwood Membership site at: info.starwoodhotels.com.
I was contacted by Starwood as a member via email on 12/3. That’s not the kind of email that you ever want to receive, or one that you ever have to send to your customer base. The corporation is scrambling to respond to the media, The NY Attorney General is questioning them, lawsuits are already being crafted, their phone lines have been jammed and customers are not happy.
With all of the competition for hotels, points, rewards and the competitive marketplace, a data breach is the BP Oil Spill of on-line events that can kill a brand.
Starwood is doing their best. They’re being transparent and also providing an offer to clients. As an fyi, they’ve stated to their clients:
“Marriott is providing guests the opportunity to enroll in WebWatcher free of charge for one year. WebWatcher monitors internet sites where personal information is shared and generates an alert to the consumer if evidence of the consumer’s personal information is found”.
What Would this Do to Your Business?
Think of what this will do to Marriott. How many years will they be entangled in this breach? How much will it cost them in fines, penalties, lawsuits, and customers? An attack of this magnitude can literally bring a company to its knees.
Now think about what you’d do in your company if you had a breach of your customer data? How would others react to your company? What kind of negative press would this bring to you? What would it do to your client base. How would this turn your strategic plans upside down?
The main storyline is the same one that continues to play out over and over, Centralized Data is the technology of 30 years ago. It’s like an invitation for someone to attack the one place where data is stored. Data, data, come get your data. The reason why Blockchain technology has taken hold across Europe, Asia and other continents is that steep penalties have made this even more important for businesses to take the extra steps needed to protect customer data.
Decentralized Data and Blockchain Technology
The secured potential of distributed technology is available today. Decentralized databases distribute information across a complex network, across a variety of geographies. Once information is stored in a distributed ledger, it automatically becomes immutable and free from manipulation. Ultimately, distributed ledgers eliminate the need for a central authority and decrease the risk of attack exponentially. After all, with a distributed format, the attacker would need to attack all distributed copies simultaneously. Very unlikely!
The reason why Blockchain technology has taken hold across Europe, Asia and other continents is because steep penalties have made this even more important for businesses to take the extra steps needed to protect customer data.
3 Quick Steps You Can Take Now to Begin Securing Your Business