Lack of investment in online security leaves travel systems vulnerable to cyberattack,attendees were warned at a recent Business Breakfast, hosted by Travolution’s sister title Travel Weekly.
The Travel Weekly Insight Annual Report 2015 picked out data security as a key issue asconsumer attitudes are shaped by high-profile breaches such as the one that hit TalkTalk this year.
Graham Pickett, lead partner for travel at report sponsor Deloitte, said travel is an industry workingon low margins that is perceived to be vulnerable due to underinvestment in IT.
Issues facing travel include complying with payment encryption rules, particularlyfor mobile, and proposed EU regulations on where data can be stored as more technologies arehosted in the cloud.
“Every enterprise is going to have to do a review to understand precisely where their data isstored,” said Pickett.
“The amount of data that’s being stored is building at an enormous rate of knots – keeping a handle onthat is an enormous job.
“If you don’t know where that data is, that presents an enormous issue for you.”
Champa Magesh, Amadeus UK managing director, said Europe was playing catch-up withregulations in the US.
“This has always existed in the physical world; now it’s starting in the virtual world,” she said. “Asthe second-largest e-commerce platform in the world next to Amazon, we are very aware of this.
“We certainly welcome the scrutiny and discipline around managing data, security andprivacy issues. That’s something we have been thinking about for quite a while.”
Deloitte consumer research had found increasing concern about control of data, said Pickett.
“What tends to happen with uncertainty is consumers become more risk averse and theirbehaviour changes,” he said.
Abta head of public affairs Stephen D’Alfonso said new EU data rules were “extremelycontentious” and were not progressing quickly enough to be finalised in 2016.