Research by IT training specialist Firebrand Training has found travel firms focus on fire drills while ignoring the much bigger threat from cyber attacks.
The firm says travel firms carry out routine fire drills twice as often as all-staff cyber drills despite the number of businesses suffering from cyber breaches being 125 times greater than the number of reporting fires on their premises.
An average of 22,000 fires occurred in non-domestic settings in the UK compared to the 2.75 million British businesses that are suspected to have suffered cyber attacks.
The Firebrand report also reveals almost half (43%) of travel businesses think cybercrime is not a threat to businesses in their sector.
Government research shows over two fifths (46%) of all businesses have identified a cyber security breach or attack in the last year and earlier this month City of London Police announced that holiday fraud was up by a fifth.
Robert Chapman, co-founder of Firebrand, said: “In some ways we were surprised by the proactivity of travel businesses in terms of prevention, but we were also surprised that 20 per cent of businesses only complete cyber drills once a year.
22,000 fires occurred in non-domestic settings compared to 2.75 million British businesses suspected to have suffered cyber attacks
“Cyber crime is constantly evolving. If you’re testing your systems once a year, and patching up breaches with new safeguards, but then leaving this for another 12 months you’re incredibly vulnerable, as we’ve seen with the NHS attacks. It’s like expecting cling-film to be an effective material for dam building.”
Firebrand says travel businesses place cyber training joint third on a list of training requirements they intend to invest in during the next 12 months.
Chapman added: “The model of having one IT person looking after cyber security in a data economy is outdated.
“Everyone has a responsibility to be cyber-confident. The figures we’ve been presented with, where only 40% believe their colleagues are competent and responsibly changing passwords on a regular basis are quite frightening, in particular as we approach legislation which will enforce fines on businesses who suffer data breaches.
“Your colleagues are your first defence (and biggest risk) as a business, and keeping them trained on these issues could make all the difference to your security and your bottom line.”
Travolution and Travel Weekly are hosting a Cyber Security Summit, in London on June 22 2017
The half-day event will outline threats posed by cyber-crime, and provide vital insight and advice in areas including technology, payments, accounting, legislation and law