National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM): Digital Travel Tips for Businesses and Travellers

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With the holidays just around the corner, hotel owners and travellers need to know what it takes to stay digitally safe.

The holidays are just around the corner and many people are looking forward to spend their vacation with family and friends, or simply to play tourist. Luckily for some travellers, they can enjoy a completely work-free vacation while some still need to be connected to check emails, make calls, or join a meeting online. However, either way, travellers still somehow need to be connected to the internet.

Many hotels, hostels, and other establishments in the hospitality industry take security seriously. With different kinds of guests coming in and out, and with the unpredictability of untoward events, the safety and security on such businesses should be a priority apart from comfort and convenience. While hotel security is a standard practice, businesses should think beyond physical property and extend the same level of protection to digital assets. Likewise, travellers should exercise caution when connecting from airports, hotels, or anywhere in transit as cybercriminals do not go on vacation and are on the lookout for potential victims.
Apart from understanding the threats to property, data, and guests, hospitality companies should also know their vulnerabilities when it comes to cyber security. In line with National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM), here are key some tips on how businesses and travellers can stay digitally safe and secure over the holidays:

Businesses
• Consider multiple endpoints. Make sure remote connections that rely on critical networks or systems such as Wi-Fi, digital door locks, alarms, and other interconnected devices are secure by implementing proper security protocols and using a robust security software.
• Responsible disclosure. It’s a given that your business handles troves of data. As such, in the eventuality of a breach, it is important to respond immediately and work with together with security teams to determine the next step when it comes to disclosing to guests or customers. Make sure that your notification comes with a comprehensive damage control plan and proper recovery solutions.
• Stay alert for insider threats. Though it is never easy to spot an “insider”, it pays to be on your toes for suspicious or unusual activities. While malware and other attacks represent formidable threats, employees could be the weakest link. Whether sensitive data was given intentionally or not, employees ought to be trained and educated well on cyber security and the dangers of falling victim.

Travellers
• Bookmark verified websites. Before the trip, bookmark frequently visited sites, especially checkout pages that require payment processes. Doing so would prevent you from typing in the wrong address.
• Update device software. If you don’t have automatic updates, make sure to update when needed. Apart from bug fixes and improved features, a healthy update can also boost the security of your device.
• Only download official apps. If you’re using travel apps such as maps, navigation, metro, or restaurant apps, make sure to download them from official app stores and avoid third party app stores. Additionally, read reviews and check permissions so you know which access you are allowing.
• Audit and manage your finances. Make a rundown of your expected budget so you can keep track of your expenses. It also wise to notify your bank where you’re going for them to trace any possible anomalies

On top of it all, always stay private, set up a Virtual Private Network (VPN), and keep an eye out. If you are business owner, you must thoroughly understand the significance of a data breach and its implications and remember to keep your IT team abreast with the current threat landscape in order to protect your network and its components.

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