Cybersecurity experts criticise poor security in tourism in Costa del Sol Travel Summit

LIABILITY: Hotels and tour operators put their client’s data at risk

Cybersecurity experts who participated in Malaga’s Travel Summit spoke in depth about the lack of security in the Tourism sector.

The illegal business of Cybercrime is growing, and it looks for maximum benefits with minimal effort and risk. When these network criminals are searching for someone to attack, they focus on sectors with a high volume of business and no major access difficulties. Tourism fits the profile they are looking for perfectly: it handles sensitive data and is mostly unprotected against cybercriminals.

Experts in Malaga stated this as the reason for the countless online attacks on hotel chains, tour operators and other travel related platforms. Despite this, the vast majority of companies in the sector have inexplicably not yet taken action. Tourism and banking are the two most desirable sectors for cybercriminals due to the big amount of sensitive client information they handle. Unlike the tourism sector, the Spanish financial sector is aware of the dangers posed by these attacks and has protected itself accordingly.

One of ways these criminals operate is by using hotel’s open Wi-Fi networks to steal guest’s valuable information and experts indicate that hotels lack the most basic online security measures. A recent high-profile case was the attack on hotel giant Marriott, that meant the theft of data from 300 to 500 million customers and a 99 million dollar fine. 

Bernardo Quintero, founder of ‘Virustotal’ antivirus, also highlighted other fraudulent activities, such as fake reservations and advertisements and reputation attacks on tourist accommodation.