Destinations Magazine - November/December 2015 - 22


Fast
Lane

trends

First alert for travel news

do You Know Where Your data is?
computer security is the sum of many fixes, not one single solution

C

ybersecurity? Ask any
expert, and you'll find
there's no perfect solution.
"everybody is vulnerable,"
says matt Anthony, vice
president of remediation
security for Herjavec Group. With its
head office in Toronto, Herjavec Group
provides managed security services for
companies worldwide and has offices in
New York and Los Angeles. "Talk to most
experts," says Anthony, "and the consensus is that it's not a matter of if [a data
breach will occur], but when."
In an age when nearly every commercial transaction is on the Internet
and cybercrime is so sophisticated not
even the largest companies and governments are immune, how can small
and medium-sized travel and tourism
businesses defend against attacks? This
question has no simple answer, just as no
computer system or network is 100 percent secure. Just ask customers of ebay,
Target, blue cross, tech giant Adobe,
Sony Pictures, and Harvard-
they've all been hacked. They'll tell
you your best defense, the only one,
is prevention. It begins with awareness
of the vulnerabilities inherent in every
system, and that's precisely where many
motorcoach companies come up short.
"Smaller to midsize bus industry
operators I have spoken to don't
place a lot of emphasis on the
technology unless it can have an
operational gain in their business,"
says Thomas Schmidt, who heads the
IT department for canadian motorcoach
22

destinations

/ November-December 2015

giant Pacific Western Transportation, an
AbA member. "Their main focus is keeping
margins where they need to be in terms of
maintenance costs, fuel, labor, and the like.
Technology security is a secondary thought
until the company has a breach or someone
in its network has a breach, and this damage creates the urgency to take action."
What can be done? Hire a reputable
security consultant to perform a risk assessment, says Schmidt. "be sure you ask
for a 'current state analysis' with a road

the best
defense is
prevention. it
begins with
awareness of
vulnerabilities.

map on what steps are required to elevate
the company to a determined level of security acceptance." Interestingly, in most
cases, part of the consultant's work will be
to probe its client's computer security to
attempt a make-believe data "theft."
Security is never a single solution
but the sum of many fixes, according to
Schmidt. Areas include antivirus software,
spam filters on the mail server, firewalls
at network entry points, and other pieces,
depending on what data you collect and
process. "cost will vary," he says, "depending on how many users you have, how your
email is set up, how you use applications,
how you store data, and governance policies the company has in place."
effective security, like charity, invariably begins at home. There are sensible,
economical internal procedures and policies that operators can implement now,
no matter what size their business is. Here
is some ironclad advice consultants
typically offer:
■ make sure antivirus tools
update themselves daily (or at
least weekly) and that daily or
weekly scans are performed.
■ educate employees
about password hygiene
and protection and the risks
posed by fraudulent emails-a
weapon phishers and spoofers
use to sneak into networks.
Staff should also know not
to use the same password
for internal systems and
personal website log-ins. The
online Trust Alliance (oTA),



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Destinations Magazine - November/December 2015

Contents
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