The tourism and hospitality industry is increasingly prone to cyber attacks and breaches of customer personal data are occurring more frequently, according to an organization that works to protect Welsh businesses from criminals.
Tourism and hotel businesses in central Wales are urged to step up their cybersecurity measures to not only protect themselves but also their guest details from cyber attacks.
The call comes from Detective Inspector Michael Preston, head of cybersecurity and innovation at the Cyber Resilience Center for Wales (WCRC), who will meet with business owners and managers at the Mid conference on Tuesday. Wales Tourism and Hospitality at the Metropole Hotel, Llandrindod Wells. , November 9.
WCRC is part of a network of centers across the UK that provides businesses and organizations with an affordable way to access cybersecurity services and advice to help protect against attacks.
The center is supported by all four police forces, including Dyfed Powys Police who will join DI Preston at the conference, hosted by MWT Cymru, who represents more than 600 tourism and hotel businesses in Powys, Ceredigion and south of Gwynedd .
Interested in hearing businesses talk about their cybercrime concerns, DI Preston and his colleague are eager to explain what steps they can take to protect themselves.
Detective Inspector Michael Preston of the Wales Cyber Resilience Center.
“The tourism sector in Wales is a key contributor to our economy, generating over £ 2,000 million and employing 132,000 people,” said DI Preston. “And it’s only growing, which is great news for Wales and even better news for cybercriminals.
“With so many visitors to the region making their reservations online and entrusting their personal and payment information to private vacation rental providers, vacation parks, guest houses and hotels, it is essential that these SMEs have implemented cybersecurity measures. It’s not just about protecting themselves but also protecting their customers’ details from cyber attacks.
“Such threats can have a devastating impact with far-reaching effect. Businesses can suffer from a long list of serious implications, including destruction, alteration or loss of important files, unauthorized access to sensitive data, loss of billable hours, network access and to a website, as well as potential closure, to name a few.
“Attending the Mid Wales Tourism and Hospitality conference is a great opportunity for us. This allows us to meet and speak directly with organizations working in these sectors and give them a better understanding of the risks they potentially face and how we can help them make them more resilient.
WCRC offers a range of membership options depending on the level of support businesses require. Primary membership is free and gives businesses access to a range of resources and tools to help them identify risks and vulnerabilities, as well as advice on steps they can take to increase their levels of protection. .
Its paid membership opportunities also offer more in-depth services for those who need a higher cybersecurity requirement.
Detective Superintendent Paul Peters is Director of WCRC, which has a dedicated team that provides organizations with support to protect businesses, staff and customers from cybercriminals and online attacks.