The Kenya Association of Travel Agents (KATA) in collaboration with Amadeus East Africa, this week hosted two industry meetings in Nairobi and Mombasa, where travel agents got to know more about current updates in the industry.
On October 23rd & 25th 2019, the travel agents converged at the Jacaranda Hotel and Royal Court hotel respectively where they learnt more about cybersecurity and ways of protecting one’s business from cyber-attacks.
The travel agents also got to hear more about the withdrawal of Default Insurance Program (DIP) in the market after Saham refused to comply with new regulations to provide the financial facility.
Amadeus EA Managing Director Mr. Mathieu Dutrisac noted that cybercrime is rampant. “Most of the cyber hacking that takes place goes unreported. Statistically, every one in three people has been hacked,” he said.
Mr. George Munene from Simply IT, an Amadeus Partner, took the KATA members through a talk on cybersecurity awareness.
He emphasised on the need for individuals and companies to put in place safeguards that will ensure that they protect their data and don’t fall prey to cyberattacks.
“Ninety-one percent of attacks start with a phishing email. One needs to stick to the safeguards in order to protect data and information. Ensure that you have the latest software updates, learn and educate your staff on the do’s and don’ts, back up your data and become compliant,” Mr Munene said.
He pointed out that many people and companies have lost large amounts of money through cyber-attacks.
KATA Chief Executive Mr. Nicanor Sabula noted that collaboration between GDS Companies and KATA is key in fighting cybercrime in the travel industry.
Mr. Sabula and KATA Board Vice-Chair Ms Shazmin Manji also took members through the DIP impasse.
Members were informed that Saham Insurance announced that they would not be renewing DIP for the year 2020 after IATA introduced new requirements that the insurance company declined to comply with.
The withdrawal of this facility means that travel agents have less than three months to come up with a solution on financial security to ensure that the ticket sales market is not affected.
Mr. Sabula urged members to remain calm as the association works towards finding a lasting resolution.