Travel Agencies Called “Easy Target” For Cyberattacks

Bruce Parkinson, Open Jaw

As it announces a renewed partnership with ACCEL PCI to help Canadian travel agencies strengthen their security system and fight cybercrime, ACTA says agencies need affordable, practical assistance to protect themselves from cyberattacks.

“ACTA recognizes that travel agencies need resources to fight cyberattacks – resources that are within reach both financially and in terms of information technology security literacy. ACCEL PCI’s online platform was developed with small and medium sized businesses in mind,” said Heather Craig-Peddie, VP Advocacy and Member Relations ACTA. 

“ACCEL PCI is also backed by Ubitrak, a Canadian company specializing in the travel industry and recommended by IATA to provide PCI DSS compliance services to the travel industry worldwide,” Craig-Peddie added.

According to a document called Baseline Cyber Security Controls for Small and Medium Organizations prepared by the Canadian Center for Cyber Security, organizations should follow the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) for all Point-of-Sale (PoS) terminals and financial systems.

“Despite the amount of personal data handled by travel agencies -- credit cards, of course, but also customer information, loyalty cards, sometime passport numbers, addresses, names, birthdays, travel plans and so on -- it is still common to see inadequate security measures to protect the personal information of customers” says Christian Richard, President of ACCEL PCI, which offers a  portal that eases PCI DSS compliance and a Qualified Security Assessor (QSA) for Visa and Mastercard. 

PCI Compliance is mandatory for IATA appointed Travel Agencies. According to ACTA, it is important that Canadian agencies invest in information security tools such as PCI DSS compliance as recommended by the Canadian Center for Cybersecurity. 

“When doing so, travel agencies put in place proper procedures and employee training to protect the privacy and the security of their customer’s personal data and keep their business reputation safe,” ACTA says in a statement.

ACTA members are eligible for a 20% savings using a promo code available in the Members only section of acta.ca. Non-ACTA members are eligible to receive a 5% savings using the promo code Travel_Disc-2020using the following link.

Bruce Parkinson

Bruce Parkinson Editor-in-Chief

An observer and analyst of the Canadian and international travel industries for over 25 years, Bruce uses the pre-dawn hours to prepare a daily news and information package to keep industry members up to date.