Why Top Travel Brands Are in Serious Cybersecurity Danger

The internet has transformed the travel industry. Websites like Airbnb, Kayak, and Expedia make booking and buying travel easier than ever—with global online travel sales expected to grow to a whopping $523 billion in 2016.

Unfortunately, online travel’s popularity with customers around the globe makes it an attractive target for fraudsters, especially when it comes to email fraud.

Our latest research shows that the travel industry is not only a prime target for phishers, but also that travel lags behind when it comes to protecting their customers, the business’s ultimate revenue source.

Return Path analyzed 6,224,248 total email messages across 46 of the world’s top travel brands, looking specifically at the adoption of email authentication standards such as SPF (Sender Policy Framework), DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail), and DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication Reporting and Conformance), all of which are critical to fight email fraud.

The results were troubling: only 11 of the 46 brands—fewer than 1 in 4—had taken steps towards defending their customers and their brand from outbound email attacks such as phishing and spoofing.

Travel companies cannot rely on unassuming customers to spot a fraudulent email; 97% of people around the globe cannot identify a sophisticated phishing message. These companies can, however, prevent fraudulent emails from ever reaching their customer’s inbox in the first place.

In our newly released Travel Guide to Email Fraud, we dive into:

  • Why travel is a top merchant category affected by fraud.
  • The travel industry’s top security challenges.
  • Outbound email as a threat vector.
  • Best practices for securing outbound email and protecting customers.

Get your copy here to learn how to protect your customers and your brand reputation from the devastating impact of email fraud.


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