Travel and Transportation Industry – A New Target of Cybersecurity Threats

July, 2019

The travel and transportation companies, including airlines, hotels, restaurants, and others, hold highly valuable data that can be used to monetize by the threat vectors. The travel and transportation industry is now one of the most attacked industries, where cyberattacks have become more frequent due to the wealth of available data and economic value. As per the IBM’s 2019 X-Force Threat Intelligence Index, transportation industry ranked at the 2nd position for cyberattacks from 10th in 2019.

Travel and Transportation companies are more vulnerable than any other business:

Business and personal travelers usually carry a device with highly sensitive and confidential data on it, which is at the major risk of experiencing a breach. The data including travel itineraries, financial and payment information, passport data and more can be used by the cybercriminals for identity theft, phishing attacks, and more.

Traveling makes an individual more exposed to cybersecurity risk. For example, charging a device using public USB station, connecting to public Wi-Fi, and enabled auto-connect on the devices are few examples as to how travelers are exposed to risks.

Few tips for travelers to avoid risks

  • Select a Wi-Fi with care and try avoiding the public networks, as the credit card or payment information can be leaked.

  • Monitor traveling accounts by using strong passwords and multi-factor authentication, as loyalty rewards are the same as cash for cybercriminals.

  • Carry a backup battery (power banks) as free USB charging can be used for installing malware or downloading data from a phone.

  • Turn off the connectivity such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and others when not required.

  • Use credit or debit cards at those places, which have secure point-of-sale systems as it reduces the chances of tampering.


With the growing self-driven cars and connected travelers, the need for security has also increased. Attackers are targeting the travel and transportation industry not only to steal the data but also to disrupt critical services, which can damage the company reputation and pose threats to passenger safety. Travel and transportation industry is facing continuous threats and saw around 566 million records leaked in publicly reported breaches, since January 2018.

- Sonam Chawla
Research Analyst - ICT
Infoholic Research