SA – One of The World’s Top 10 Most Targeted Countries for Travel Cyber-Crime!

16 May

Paying for travel online is commonplace these days, but there’s still some fear around online payments in South Africa, and for good reason. SA is actually one of the world’s most targeted countries for travel cyber-crime. In most instances it’s because establishments are unaware of, or uneducated in how to protect their systems and their customer data.

In March 2017 a Cyber Security CI Middle East & Africa Forum was hosted in Cape Town. A focus of the event was on educating the market on the risks faced by the South African travel and tourism industry in terms of data breaches and cyber-attacks.

As a local travel and tourism company, there are things that you need to be aware of when it comes to protecting the integrity of your stored data and deterring cyber-attacks.

The tourism market place is certainly growing in South Africa, but so is the occurrence of travel-focused cyber-attacks. It’s important for travel related companies to understand the threat and how it’s evolving and developing. The Forum was determined to help educate local businesses on how to defend and protect themselves.

Why is the SA Travel Industry at Risk to Cyber-criminals?

The challenges that the tourism industry faces in SA is that there are so many ways in which travellers can purchase flight tickets, book accommodation, book car hire and similar. It’s safe to say that any company that’s travel focused has data moving back and forth in a number of ways and in massive quantities.

It can be difficult to protect all bases, but certainly not impossible

At the Forum, the importance of encrypting data ­– one of the most important parts of any data security setup, was once again highlighted. Encryption, something that we cannot reiterate enough at Soteria Cloud.

The PCI Forum general manager mentioned a few reasons why travel and hospitality companies are caught off guard and taken advantage of. Some of these scenarios include:

  • Leaving default passwords in place after POS and system installers have completed their side of the process
  • Leaving ports open and unprotected on payment systems

One very important tip that business owners could take away from the seminar was regarding cyber-scams that involved phishing, ransomware and similar. Professionals advised that users will generally only click on emails and links that they trust. Much the same as applies to all business owners and online users in virtually any industry. At Soteria Cloud we suggest that you ask yourself whether or not you know the source of an email and if you solicited such communication. When in doubt, don’t click!

Do you run a travel and hospitality related business in South Africa?

If the answer is Yes, then you need to ask yourself some questions, such as;

  • Who installed your Point of Sale, online payment gateways and various processing systems?
  • Have you changed your passwords since your POS was installed?
  • Do you have someone professional managing your systems?
  • Do you ensure that your stored customer data is encrypted?

That’s a lot to think about and right now is as good a time as any to check! Need advice and info on how to get your systems more secure? Contact us at Soteria Cloud!

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