from DION HENRICK in Cape Town
CAPE TOWN – AMID the optimism among African nations dependent on tourism and hospitality sectors for economic growth, sector providers must be mindful of cyber security threats.
This is according to a cyber security expert as the globe marks World Tourism Day.
In a post pandemic world, the latest World Tourism Barometer by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) signifies exceptional optimism for recovery in the immediate term, and a return to pre-pandemic tourism in the years to come.
Bethwel Opil, Enterprise Client Lead at Kaspersky in Africa, said cyber security solutions play a critical role in enabling businesses in the hotel and tourism sector to protect sensitive data and infrastructure.
“However, hotels need flexible and user-friendly options to defend against attacks,” he said.
“This is also where employee training becomes essential,” Opil added.
“The best software in the world cannot overcome people who still click on malicious links and open infected email attachments,” he commented.
Tourism and hospitality sectors worldwide have experienced a rollercoaster ride over the last three years.
Research by Statista suggests that prior to the pandemic – and before the impact of the protection and preventative lockdown measures that ensued – tourism and hospitality sectors worldwide had seen almost uninterrupted growth for decades.
Meanwhile, according to Morphisec hospitality cyber threat index, 70 percent of guests believe that hotels do not invest enough in cyber security protection.
McKinsey writes that weak infrastructure defences could also put hotels at risk.
In some African countries, including South Africa and Nigeria, the experience of prevailing challenges with sustaining national grid power supply that leads to frequent bouts of continued load shedding or rolling blackouts, most hotels and hospitality players have invested in alternative power supply options.
– CAJ News