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Cyber insurance vital as criminals target transport and travel organisations

Transport and travel organisations are reporting a significant increase in the number of attacks on their IT systems, data storage and infrastructure.

The increase in ransomware has soared, with criminals demanding large pay-outs to avoid releasing compromised data or infrastructure control systems

The  travel and transport sectors are attractive targets as they hold considerable customer information and with companies embracing digitalisation and using external IT systems,  they can be vulnerable making cyber insurance cover vital for businesses.

Retail, travel, and hospitality industries attracted  63% of credential stuffing attacks and 41% of web attacks according to the Akamai Security 2020 State of the Internet report. It also revealed that Retail, Hospitality, Travel industries were hit with over 63 billion credential stuffing attacks and 4 billion web application attacks in last two years.

Credential stuffing is a cyberattack where the credentials stolen from one database or app are used to log into an unrelated service.

Report author Steve Ragan said: “These days, retail and loyalty profiles contain a smorgasbord of personal information, and in some cases financial information too. All of this data can be collected, sold, and traded or even compiled for extensive profiles that can later be used for crimes such as identity theft.”

In 2020,  EasyJet admitted that a "highly sophisticated cyber-attack"  affected approximately nine million customers. Travel details had been stolen and 2,208 customers also had their credit and debit card details "accessed"

In 2017, malicious software hidden in a document used to file tax returns infiltrated the IT systems of Maersk, costing  the global shipping company up to £300 million. A year later, hackers shut down 2,000 computers belonging to the Colorado Department of Transportation in the US.

Why they are targeted:

Travel and Transport

Attacks tend to be focused on customer data, which can be financially valuable if sold on the “dark web” While travel company IT systems are typically more advanced than those in the transport sector, they contain more customer data, which creates different security risks. The transportation sector is particularly vulnerable because of its dependence on technology.

Hospitality businesses

These businesses are, according to Trustwave’s 2020 Global Security Report statistics, the third most targeted sector by cyber attackers. Criminal groups attack hotel IT systems using methods including “spear phishing” or they hack hotel Wi-Fi.

Cyber cover may be purchased as a stand-alone product or as add-on coverage to traditional lines of business such as commercial property, business interruption or professional indemnity insurance, although more specific Cyber policies are highly encouraged to avoid ambiguity over coverage and secure wider more relevant cover and cyber crisis management support.

The European Commission has published proposals to update and strengthen cyber security rules for network and information systems, which includes making senior managers accountable if their company fails to comply with the directive.

W Denis can arrange specialist cyber insurance cover and can offer first class technical advice. Solutions are available for multi-billion turnover businesses, down to small start-ups. To discuss this further with a broker at W Denis, please make arrangements with Daniel Moss at daniel.moss@wdenis.co.uk or on 0044 (0)113 2439812.

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