Tony Sales, fraud expert at We Fight Fraud Live, believes fraudsters will be looking to hitch a ride when people are allowed to travel again. He offers his advice on staying safe online and protecting data
The travel industry was one of the first to collect and store customer data. How well it protects this precious cargo when we are back in business after the Covid lockdowns could have a big impact on who will survive and who won’t.
In many ways, the industry has been hit by a triple whammy – the ever-present threat of terrorist attacks; an increasing number of data breaches; and the recent pandemic that has practically brought it to a standstill.
But now’s not the time to cut corners to save money, however tempting it might be to minimise cyber or physical security measures to help the bottom line. The industry needs to invest in raising awareness and implementing effective security measures, to protect operations and data like never before.
That’s because their customer database is a company’s most valuable asset – not only in terms of residual income but also to build brand loyalty. If hackers get hold of this data, companies not only lose trust within the market but also with their customer base. Look at BA after its 2018 attack, which is still having an impact.
Of course, the problem of Covid is going to be put firmly at the travel industry’s door – particularly if countries go down the vaccination passport route. Airports and customs are going to be under increasing pressure. And the dark web will be thriving – selling fake documentation from whatever country – whether that’s test results or Covid passports. That’s not being talked about but we believe it will become a huge problem.