We all live in a global village where information travels from one corner of the world to another in seconds. Thanks to the internet, businesses can expand beyond the boundaries of their country and cater to a global audience. Many businesses have opened their businesses in different countries of the world. Due to this, top executives have to go on a business trip to attend conferences, meet with stakeholders or deliver a presentation.
They might fly business class with top airlines and stay in seven-star hotels but never take their data security and privacy seriously. With the number of data breaches and cybersecurity attacks targeting hotels and airlines, they should. Last year, top airlines such as Cathay Pacific, British airways and hotels such as Marriott and Radisson have all been victims of a cyberattack which resulted in a data breach. Millions of records of customer data have been stolen.
What makes hotels and airlines a prime target for cybercriminals is the magnitude of their business and the volume of sensitive traveller data they store. Airlines and hotels need to take steps to keep their network and customer data safe otherwise, we will continue to hear the news about data breaches. How can they secure their network? Here is how.
In this article, you will learn about effective ways that hotels and airlines can use to keep their network protected.
- Stringent Third-Party Vetting Process
Hotels and airlines need to make sure that they choose their third-party vendors carefully. In most cases, data breaches occur due to security blunders committed by third-party vendors. Ask questions such as how your third-party vendor will make sure your sensitive data stays safe and private? Ask them to show you how they secure your data instead of taking their word for it. Keep an eye on data that is communicated between your organization and your business partner or vendors because it can easily be stolen by hackers during transit.
- Take Ownership of Your Data
Hotels and airlines need to take ownership of their data. When they do, they will choose a third-party vendor that is also responsible. More importantly, they will constantly monitor the activity on their network and use analytics to identify any suspicious activity. This will allow them to act before the damage has been done.
It is important for airlines and hotels to know where their data is being stored, how long will it be stored and how it will be handled. It is the responsibility of airlines and hotels to keep their customer information private. Keep an eye on personnel who have access to user data and implement security controls to ensure data privacy.
- Protect Your Databases
Most cybersecurity attacks target networks and databases. That is why it is important for hotels and airlines to invest in DDoS protection and understand how their databases work so they can protect them. Take advantage of all the security features available and install the latest version to minimize the risk of data breaches. Double-check the configuration before making it live because misconfigurations give hackers openings that they can exploit to break into your databases.
Implement role-based access control and keep a close eye on personnel who have access to your databases to reduce the risk of abuse. Patch all the vulnerabilities in devices that are connected to your network or access your database so that hackers can not use it as a ladder to get to your data. Hackers are always looking for vulnerabilities and if they find one, they won’t waste much time in exploiting it and you should be aware of that.
- Make the Most of Threat Intelligence
Threat intelligence can prove to be a great tool when it comes to identifying malicious IP addresses. Sadly, not many hotels and airlines use it. That is why they end up communicating with a malicious IP address and pay a heavy price for it in terms of data breaches, financial losses and reputation damage.
Search engines like Binary Edge, websites like Shodan and Censys can come in handy as they provide useful threat intelligence feeds that can save your business from a lot of security issues. With threat intelligence on your side, you will not only be able to respond to incidents faster and do it in a more effective way too because you develop a better understanding of attacks and attackers.
- Keep Your Public and Private Network Separate
Airlines and hotels should segment their wireless networks into two parts. One should be private and the other one should be public. Public Wi-Fi connections are more prone to cyberattacks, but you don’t want hackers to penetrate your private Wi-Fi network by using Public Wi-Fi loopholes.
Secondly, hotels and airlines should always increase cybersecurity awareness amongst their customers and tell them how they can stay safe while using a wireless connection. Never perform financial transactions when you are using a public wireless network.
Here is how you can stay safe while using public Wi-Fi connection:
- Switch to HTTPS
- Turn off sharing
- Turn on the firewall
- Use a VPN
- Invest In Training Programs
Employees are the weakest link in your cybersecurity chain and hackers know that. That is why they constantly launch social engineering attacks to trick employees into sharing their sensitive information with them. You can easily prevent that by increasing cybersecurity awareness. Organize cybersecurity training programs that can help your employees understand the latest cyber-attacks and how cybercriminals operate.
The more aware they are, the harder it will be for hackers to trick them. When you have trained employees, who know how to handle sensitive data, they are less likely to make mistakes. Hotels and airlines need to create a cybersecurity policy that can lay down the rules for action. It can guide your cybersecurity efforts and help you create a securer cybersecurity infrastructure.
How do you keep your network safe as an airline and hotel? Let us know in the comments section below. We would love to hear from you.