Technology and cyber security should go hand in hand to ensure destinations are cyber-secure

The application of technology in tourist destinations and tourism companies needs to go hand in hand with cyber security measures, according to several experts at the “What do we need to be a cyber-secure destination?” webinar organised by the Smart Destinations Network.

The webinar, moderated by the director of Institutional Relations at SEGITTUR, Víctor Badorrey, was participated in by managers of cyber security services at the National Cyber security Institute (INCIBE), Marco Antonio Lozano; the CTO of Wellness Tech Group, Enrique Villa; and Tourism expert from León City Council, David Fernández.

Cyber crime is any illegal activity carried out through the use of technology, where organised groups or lone people use techniques such as phishing, social engineering or malware to commit crimes.

The tourism sector is using more and more technology, both in destinations and in tourism companies. Open Wi-Fi, web pages, apps, online advertising campaigns, social media and online sales are just a few examples of the use of technology in tourism and which can be affected by cyber security crimes.

Experts believe that the use of data is where the tourism sector is most aware of the risk of attacks, but more awareness and training are needed as cyber security also affects essential infrastructure, such as lighting, which are more vulnerable.

Information access control, the creation of back-up copies, password management, limited use of non-corporate tools and compliance with the laws regarding databases are some of the security measures recommended by the head of cyber security at INCIBE, who noted that INCIBE uses the number 017 to provide cyber security support to companies.

The CTO of Wellness Tech Group highlighted the need to have a shared cyber security framework used by all destinations, and recommended carrying out situational analysis to be aware of cyber-risks and implement preventative measures.

Finally, the Tourism expert from León City Council noted the need to introduce measures to protect all tools and systems in which technology is key for the promotion and management of a destination against cyber attacks.