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The cost and frequency of travel data breaches is rising.

Two weeks ago we announced that Inntopia had become one of the first travel tech companies to receive ISO 27001 certification. We talked a lot about the reasons behind this effort and the proactive benefits to our clients from doing so. However, we wanted to follow up on a specific aspect of information security that is at the crux of our decision to invest in security in a way that other travel technology vendors haven’t yet done so.

We want to talk about risk. And, specifically, just how big the risk of unprotected data truly is.

Increased Frequency
In the fall of 2017, payments expert Mark Mullis was covering a rise in data breaches, when he made this point:

Hardly a week goes by without a major company announcing that their customers have been impacted by a credit card breach. The travel industry is far from immune; in 2016, a number of wide-spread data breaches affected the hotel industry, resulting in thousands of customers having their credit card information stolen.

A little over a year later, in February 2019, he followed up and noted that “data breaches continue to plague the travel industry.”

From 2014 when Viator announced that 1,400,000 customers could have had their payment information exposed to just a few months ago when Gekko Group admitted that and “exposed database left terabyte of travelers’ data open to the public,” data breaches are becoming more frequent in travel.

Increased Cost
And it’s not just frequency that’s rising. In 2014, IBM’s Cost of a Data Breach study suggested that the damage of such a breach in the United States was $5.85 million. When they updated their stats in 2019, that number had risen to $8.19 million.

The United States isn’t alone. Globally that number grew from $3.50 million to $3.92 during that same stretch. In their report, IBM also points out even greater impacts:

Data breaches can cause devastating financial losses and affect an organization’s reputation for years. From lost business to regulatory fines and remediation costs, data breaches have far reaching consequences.

Now is an extremely dangerous time to take a laissez faire approach to data security.

Why We Care
Yes, we have invested in security because it was the right thing to do and because it’s a natural extension of our partner-focused company culture.

But it’s not just about avoiding bad headlines, it’s about proactively avoiding moments that can sink an entire travel business – both financially and with their reputation in the market – and erase decades of work in an instant. Businesses that have put their trust in us to help them grow.

Our ISO 27001 certification is a clear symbol of that commitment to our customers.

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