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Research Finds Cybersecurity Is More Concerning to Hospitality/Travel IT Leaders than Inflation, Supply Chain Woes and the Labor Crisis

According to a Rackspace Technology Research, despite increased investment and c-suite attention, only 37% of hospitality/travel professionals say they are fully prepared to respond to cybersecurity attacks and threats.

More than half (56%) of hospitality/travel IT leaders cite cybersecurity as one of their C-suite’s top-three business concerns, ahead of issues such as inflation (52%) retaining and hiring talent (48%) and supply chain/logistics management (50%), according to the hospitality/travel professionals in a new survey of 1,420 global IT professionals in six industries conducted by Rackspace Technology®, an end-to-end, multicloud technology solutions company.

[Hospitality Technology will be talking cybersecurity during our annual HT-NEXT 2022 hotel technology conference this year. Join us to be a part of the conversation and hear some great advice on what you can do to secure your organization's data!]

At the same time, despite sizable increases in their cybersecurity investment, greater board visibility and increased collaboration between the security team and the C-suite, less than half (37%) of hospitality/travel professionals say they are fully prepared to respond to cybersecurity attacks and threats. A majority of hospitality/travel IT executives report being either unprepared or only “somewhat prepared” to respond to major threats, such as identifying and mitigating threats and areas of concern (60%), recovering from cyberattacks (65%) or preventing lapses and breaches (59%).

What are the consequences of cybersecurity threats/attacks? Over half (56%) mentioned operations downtime and 46% reported loss of intellectual property/data, not to mention damage to brand reputation (50%) and revenue loss (31%).

Over half (69%) say the frequency and severity of cybersecurity attacks have a seasonality with a peak early in the year that diminishes over the course of the 12 months. 

Moreover, when asked to name the top three cybersecurity challenges their organization is facing, migrating and operating apps to the cloud led the way (44%), followed by a shortage of workers with cybersecurity skills (40%), and a lack of visibility of vulnerabilities across all infrastructure (37%).

“As more and more organizations migrate their IT infrastructure away from data centers and advance their cloud transformation initiatives, they are focusing increasing attention on how these changes can impact their security posture,” said Karen O’Reilly-Smith, Chief Security Officer, Rackspace.

Cloud Security Leads Investment Priorities

Despite the economic challenges brought about by the pandemic, organizations show no sign of decreasing their investment in cybersecurity, with 69% of hospitality/travel organizations reporting their cybersecurity budgets have increased over the past three years.

The leading recipients of this new investment are cloud native security (55%), data security (43%), consultative security services (43%) and application security (40%). According to the survey, cloud native security is also the area where organizations are most likely to rely on an outside partner for expertise.

These investments align closely with the areas where hospitality/travel organizations perceive their greatest concentration of threats, led by network security (58%), closely followed by web application attacks (55%) and cloud architecture attacks (50%).

Security Teams and the C-Suite

 The survey also looked closely at the relationship between security teams, boards and C-suite executives. 72% of hospitality/travel organizations say there has been an increase in board visibility for cybersecurity over the past five years, while 74% cite increased investment in cybersecurity due to better collaboration between the security team and members of the C-suite.

Survey Methodology

The survey was conducted by Coleman Parkes Research in July, 2022. Findings are based on the responses of 1,420 IT decision-makers across manufacturing, retail, hospitality/travel, healthcare/pharma/biomedical, government and financial services sectors in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

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