The South West Cyber Resilience Centre
(SWCRC) is urging businesses in the travel and tourism sector to act now to protect
With a wealth of visitor destinations across
Wiltshire, businesses throughout the region are preparing for a bumper year for
However, with a surge in online
bookings for the sector comes the potential for an increase in cyber crime as
criminals exploit security flaws in online systems.
SWCRC is a police-led, not for-profit organisation which exists solely to protect businesses and charities across the South West from the threat of online attacks.
Director Mark Moore, said, “Over £10.4
billion was spent on tourism in the South West in 2019 and with overseas summer
holidays looking increasingly unlikely this year, the sector is expecting an
“Yet with so many people making their
bookings online and entrusting their personal information and payment details
to private holiday-letting providers, holiday parks, guest houses and hotels,
it is crucial these organisations have cybersecurity measures in place to not
only protect themselves but also their customers.
“Add to that the fact that some of the
world’s leaders, delegates and media will descend on Cornwall in June for the
G7 summit, all of a sudden the South West becomes a valuable target for the
cyber criminals whom we’ve seen becoming more and more active during lockdown.”
Cyber attacks can have serious
implications for businesses including loss of important files, harvesting of
sensitive data and access to websites and networks.
South West Tourism Alliance Chair,
Alistair Handyside MBE, said, “Cybercrime is something that is becoming ever
more prevalent. Over the last year we have heard from more and more businesses
which have been victims of cybercrime because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We would urge every travel and
tourism firm to listen to the guidance being given around things you can do to
make your businesses safer and to protect your livelihoods. SWCRC is a
dedicated resource to try and fight this ever-growing threat.”
to the SWCRC, 43
per cent of small businesses have been targeted by cyber criminals, with the
annual cost of such attacks in the region of £4.5 billion.
For further guidance, resources and information on how to improve your business’s ability to defend against cyberattacks, visit the SWCRC website