$15 Million Settlement Agreement Reached in Sony Data Breach Case

You probably remember the massive data breach that Sony Entertainment suffered back in April 2011 in its video game online network which exposed the personal information of approximately 77 million PlayStation Network and Qriocity account holders, making it one of the largest data breaches of all time, and immersed Sony in years of expensive and exhaustive litigation. On June 13th, Sony reached a settlement agreement in which agreed to pay approximately $15 million in a class action lawsuit stemming from the 2011 data breach. Although $15 million is a somewhat nominal amount for a company the size of Sony, keep in mind that Sony still denies all wrongdoing and liability and has incurred estimated costs of more than $171 million with respect to the breach. If the judge approves the terms of the agreement, the settlement reached will put to rest 65 class action lawsuits that were filed against Sony following the breach.

This settlement agreement is demonstrative of the fact that a company that experiences a data breach, despite admitting to absolutely no wrongdoing, will be subject to years of expensive litigation which will likely end in a sizable payout in a settlement agreement. Accordingly, it is more important than ever for companies, including hotels, to properly train employees, ensure that an appropriate breach response plan has been put in place, and ensure that policies are in place to adequately protect customer information.   Hotels can help protect themselves from the risk of data breach by properly training their employees to comply with robust data-security practices and policies by utilizing Venza’s PCI training modules or other custom learning solutions.


The Venza Group has partnered with the law firm Arnall Golden Gregory (AGG) to create a series of interactive eLearning modules to address PCI compliance in the hotel industry. Management, employees and IT are taught about the requirements they must support as part of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards. The Venza Group also has partnered with AGG to create an interactive eLearning module to train hoteliers on general privacy and security awareness issues and on sexual harassment prevention.