Now cyber criminals are ruining our holidays too
Yes, you heard right, hackers are going through all the personal info that hotels have about you
Cyber criminals are checking into hotels’ websites to steal guests’ personal and financial information.
According to the latest PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Hotels and Outlook report 2018-2022, hospitality recorded the second highest number of cyber security breaches after the retail sector.
“The hospitality industry offers many opportunities for hackers and other cyber criminals. Hotels are considered big targets for cyber criminals because they hold a host of personal and financial information on their guests, as well as other sensitive data, such as payment card information,” PwC said in a statement on the new report on Tuesday.
PwC’s research showed that most of the industry’s prominent hotels have fallen victim to cyber breaches. Cyber lead for PwC Africa Kris Budnik said the recent high-profile security breaches put companies’ trust, confidence and reputation at risk.“The last two years have been particularly worrisome for the hotel industry with a number of high-profile breaches taking place and if we look at this trend it is not going to get better.”
According to PwC’s Global State of Information Security Survey, which surveyed 9,500 executives in 122 countries, employees were behind most security breaches while 27% of the targeted cybercrime was committed by ex-staff and 23% by unknown hackers.
Executives reported that customer and employee records were the most targeted.
“The bittersweet irony of the increased attack surface for criminals and internal employees, who may be fraudsters, is that the gathering and processing of personal data can, and is, used by businesses to streamline and provide better experiences for their customers.
“What should be an exercise in improving customer trust and loyalty ultimately becomes an exercise in increased reputational and bottom-line risk,” PwC explained.
PwC suggested that hotels take a holistic view of the value chain from how guests place bookings and check-in interaction with facilities to identify key cybersecurity and privacy exposures and how they are addressed.“As awareness grows, we are rapidly approaching a tipping point when organisations realise they have no choice. They have to do much more to tackle the cybersecurity and privacy risks they face and live up to the expectations that society places in them,” Budnik said.
Fedhasa chief executive Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa confirmed the report’s findings.
“Cyber crime is indeed on the increase and is quite prevalent in the industry. However guests can rest assured that our members are not sitting back. They are doing a great deal, stepped up security and are very vigilant about this threat.”
Tshivhengwa said that in cases involving fraud, where stolen credit cards were used to book accomodation, the information was shared with members and police as a warning.
He said these additional measures to fight cyber crime were important in light of the pending Protection of Personal Information Act.