Mid Wales tourism and hospitality businesses are being urged to step up their cybersecurity measures to not only protect themselves but also their customers’ details from cyber-attacks.
The call comes from Detective Inspector Michael Preston, Head of Cyber and Innovation at the Cyber Resilience Centre for Wales (WCRC), who met with business owners and managers at the Mid Wales Tourism and Hospitality Conference at The Metropole Hotel, Llandrindod Wells this month.
The WCRC is part of a network of centres across the UK that provides businesses and organisations with an affordable way to access cyber security services and consultancy to help protect themselves from attacks.
The centre is supported by all four police forces, including Dyfed Powys Police who will be joining DI Preston at the conference, organised by MWT Cymru, which represents more than 600 tourism and hospitality businesses in Powys, Ceredigion and Southern Snowdonia.
“The tourism sector in Wales is a key contributor to our economy, generating more than £2,000 million and employing 132,000 people,” said DI Preston. “And this is only set to grow which is great news for Wales and even better news for cyber criminals.
“With so many visitors to the region making their bookings online and entrusting their personal information and payment details to private holiday-letting providers, holiday parks, guest houses and hotels, it is crucial these SMEs have cybersecurity measures in place. This is not only protect themselves but also their customers’ details from cyber-attacks.
“Such threats can leave a devastating impact with far-reaching effect. Businesses can suffer from a long list of serious implications, including destruction, alteration or loss of important files, unauthorised access to sensitive data, loss of billable hours, network access and website access, as well as potential closure, to name a few.
“Attending the Mid Wales Tourism and Hospitality Conference was a great opportunity for us. It allowed us to meet and speak directly with organisations working in these sectors and to give them a greater understanding of what risks they potentially face and how we can assist them in making them more resilient.”
The WCRC offers a range of membership options depending on what level of support businesses need. Core Membership is free and provides businesses with access to a range of resources and tools to help them identify risks and vulnerabilities, as well as providing guidance on the steps they can take to increase their levels of protection.
Its paid-for membership opportunities also offer more in-depth services for those who need a greater requirement when it comes to their cyber security.
Detective Superintendent Paul Peters is Director of the WCRC, which has a dedicated team that provides organisations with support in safeguarding business, staff and clients from cyber criminals and online attacks.
To find out more about the WCRC or to speak to one of its advisors, visit www.wcrcentre.co.uk. To keep updated with all the latest developments, follow @CRCWales on Twitter or on LinkedIn.