Cybercrime has been highlighted as a challenge to the recovery of the travel and tourism industry, according to a report.
The World Travel & Tourism Council’s Codes To Resilience Report, launched in partnership with Microsoft, focuses on cyber crime protection and best practices.
It says that mitigating risk must be a priority with the industry predominantly made up of small and medium sized businesses (80%) who are vulnerable to attack.
The report reveals that 72% of SMBs across all sectors in the U.K., U.S. and Europe have experienced at least one cyberattack.
Julia Simpson, WTTC president and CEO, says: “Technology and digitalization play a key role in making the whole travel experience more seamless, from booking a holiday, to checking in for a flight or embarking on a cruise.
“But the impact of cyberattacks carries enormous financial, reputational and regulatory risk.”
The study highlights four key areas for travel businesses to address to boost cyber protection including securing identity data, understanding the impact of Covid and managing legislation.
It adds that educating and training staff as well as implementing a “zero-trust approach” to cyber security can help prepare businesses resist attacks.
Devon Bryan, global chief information security officer for Carnival Corporation, says: “Cyber resilience is not about helping our organisation to recover from but battle through a cyber-attack.”
Carnival identified a ransomeware attack in mid-2020 that accessed the personal data of guests and employees.
The breach came weeks after a ransomeware attack on CWT with press outlets reporting the travel management company had paid out $4.5 million to hackers.
Meanwhile, aviation technology specialist SITA experienced what it described as a “high sophisticated” attack last year involving passenger data on its Horizon passenger service system.
The attack affected the frequent flyer programs of Singapore Airlines, Finnair and British Airways.