A webinar led by GlobalData’s Nick Wyatt, head of research and analysis for Travel & Tourism found that cybersecurity was a key theme being considered by companies in the industry. A poll has suggested that 63% of respondents say they believe that cybersecurity is already a big theme that people are engaging with in the sector.

Cybersecurity has increased in mentions in company filings by a significant amount, with 3,934 mentions in 2021 which was an increase from the 1,105 mentions in 2016. This data demonstrates consistently high mentions of the cybersecurity theme.

GlobalData shares that hiring in the theme of cybersecurity can be seen in the travel and tourism ecosystem. The top ten companies identified for hiring for cybersecurity in travel and tourism between January 2020 and November 2022 includes Deutsche Lufthansa and Wizz Air, with the topic key area for the aviation industry.

Cybersecurity training for airports and airlines is key and once completed it should be revisited to ensure currency in order for the sector to deal with potential threats effectively. There have been numerous examples of cybersecurity threats in the aviation industry where customers have been impacted.

In 2018, a large-scale data breach impacted 380,000-500,000 British Airways customers. The data breach compromised login details, payment card details, and travel booking details, while credit card details were being stolen as they were being entered. This went undetected for more than two months.

According to Jake Moore, global cybersecurity advisor at eset, when people use airlines they tend to only use the login page twice a year on average and for this reason it can be argued that they more than likely will use the same password which they use for other accounts as opposed to creating new login details. As a result, this increases the possibility of a data breach being impactful.

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Airports also face cybersecurity threats and there have been recent examples such as the British Airways data breach and an issue with the Bradley International Airport website.

The website issue in Connecticut was an example of how a distributed denial-of-service (DDOS) attack can take place, involving multiple machines focused on crashing one website. This particular threat was resolved without serious impact. Airports and airlines put in mitigation techniques to deflect these threats.

The world became more dependent on online communication and online payment systems during the COVID-19 pandemic and the adoption of technology considerably accelerated. However, cybersecurity threats have always existed, and it is important for companies to priorities mitigation techniques.

GlobalData has emphasised the sense of urgency from companies in terms of cybersecurity as a theme. Cybersecurity includes technologies, processes and practices which protect networks, computers, programs and electronic.

In terms of cybersecurity, GlobalData tracks deals, patents filings, patent ownership, mentions, job trends and social media. The key theme is a growing focus on cybersecurity tools in order to protect personal data from attack, damage or unauthorised access.