Uncovering and Mitigating Security Risks in Cruise Booking Experiences

Published: March 21, 2024

Updated: May 22, 2024

Learn how FullStory's analytics helped a cruise company uncover and mitigate a critical security risk, ensuring customer data protection and maintaining trust.

In the digital-first world of travel and hospitality, the security of customer data stands as a paramount concern for companies. A breach or exposure can not only lead to direct financial loss but also significantly damage a brand's reputation and customer trust. This article examines a crucial instance where a cruise company, through the deployment of FullStory analytics, identified and resolved a severe security risk within their booking system. This proactive approach to data security exemplifies the critical role of continuous monitoring and analytics in protecting customer information and maintaining trust.

Discovering Security Vulnerabilities

The discovery of security vulnerabilities often comes as a shock to companies, revealing risks that can have far-reaching implications. For the cruise company in question, the issue was particularly alarming: sensitive customer data, specifically credit card information, was being logged in an unhashed format within the browser's console. This exposure represented a significant risk, not only because of the potential for data theft but also due to the violation of data protection regulations. FullStory's session replay technology was instrumental in uncovering this vulnerability, showcasing the value of such tools in identifying hidden risks that could otherwise remain unnoticed until it's too late.

The Role of FullStory in Identifying Risks

FullStory's analytics and session replay capabilities serve as a powerful ally in the ongoing battle against digital vulnerabilities. By allowing companies to view their platform through the eyes of their users, FullStory can uncover issues that would typically fly under the radar of traditional security audits. In this case, FullStory provided a clear view of how and when the credit card information was being exposed, enabling the cruise company to quickly grasp the magnitude of the problem. This level of insight is invaluable, turning abstract security risks into tangible issues that can be addressed directly.

Immediate Actions to Protect Customer Data

Upon identifying the security flaw, the cruise company acted with commendable speed and efficiency. Recognizing the severity of the risk to customer privacy and company integrity, they immediately convened their security and engineering teams to devise a solution. The actions taken were multifaceted: securing the exposed data by hashing credit card information, reviewing and enhancing overall security measures to prevent future breaches, and initiating a comprehensive audit of their systems to identify any other potential vulnerabilities. These steps underscore the importance of a proactive and responsive approach to data security, emphasizing the need for swift action to protect customer information and maintain trust.

Integrating FullStory with CDP for Enhanced Security

The integration of FullStory with a Customer Data Platform (CDP) like Segment further exemplified the cruise company's commitment to data security. This integration facilitated a more granular analysis of user interactions, enhancing the ability to track and secure customer data across the platform. By combining FullStory's session replay capabilities with the CDP's data management tools, the company could quickly identify affected users and ensure that all exposed data was secured. This collaboration between analytics and data management tools represents a best practice in the digital security landscape, providing a robust framework for protecting sensitive customer information.

Impact of Swift Action on Customer Trust

The rapid response to the identified security risk had a significant positive impact on customer trust. In the digital age, consumers are increasingly aware of the importance of data security and privacy. By acting decisively to address the vulnerability, the cruise company demonstrated its dedication to safeguarding customer information. This commitment to security and transparency is crucial in maintaining and building trust with customers, proving that the company values their privacy and is willing to take immediate action to protect it.

FullStory’s Contribution to Technical Solutions

FullStory's contribution to identifying and mitigating the security risk underscores the platform's versatility beyond UX optimization. In this scenario, FullStory acted as a critical tool in the security toolkit, enabling the cruise company to detect and rectify a significant data exposure issue. The case highlights FullStory's utility in a broad range of applications, including technical security solutions. By providing detailed insights into user interactions, FullStory can help companies uncover vulnerabilities that might otherwise remain hidden, thereby enhancing both the user experience and the security posture

Ensuring Data Privacy and Compliance

The resolution of the security flaw was not just a technical victory but also a compliance success. In today's regulatory environment, companies are under strict obligations to protect customer data and ensure privacy. The cruise company's effective handling of the situation demonstrated its adherence to data protection laws, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe and other relevant regulations. This commitment to compliance is essential for operating in the global market, where data privacy standards are increasingly stringent and non-compliance can result in significant penalties.

Lessons Learned for the Cruise Industry

The incident serves as a crucial lesson for the cruise industry and the broader travel sector: the importance of continuous vigilance in data security and the potential of analytics tools like FullStory in identifying and addressing vulnerabilities. It highlights the need for an integrated approach to security, combining advanced analytics, comprehensive data management, and proactive response strategies. Cruise companies, and indeed all companies in the hospitality and travel sector, must prioritize data security as a foundational aspect of their digital strategy, ensuring they are prepared to identify and mitigate risks swiftly.


The collaborative effort between the cruise company, FullStory, and their implementation partner, Gangverk, to uncover and mitigate a critical security risk within the booking system, exemplifies the importance of proactive security measures in today's digital landscape. This case study demonstrates the powerful role analytics can play in safeguarding customer data, enhancing compliance, and maintaining customer trust. By integrating advanced analytics tools like FullStory into their security and data protection strategies, companies can ensure they are better equipped to protect sensitive information against emerging threats. The lessons drawn from this experience are invaluable, offering guidance for the cruise industry and beyond on the importance of prioritizing data security in an increasingly interconnected world.

Concerned about data security in your travel booking systems? FullStory offers more than just UX insights—it's a powerful tool for identifying and mitigating security risks. As a known implementation partner for FullStory and CDPs, Gangverk can assist in amalgamating these tools into your analytics and data stack, thereby securing your customers and reputation. Contact Gangverk to learn how integrating FullStory into your analytics and data stack can protect your customers and your reputation.

Frequently Asked Questions

How did the integration of FullStory with a CDP enhance data security?

Integrating FullStory with a Customer Data Platform (CDP) provided a more nuanced view of user interactions and data flows, enabling the cruise company to swiftly identify and secure exposed customer data, thereby enhancing overall data security and compliance.

What steps should companies take upon discovering a data security risk?

Companies should immediately assess the scope of the exposure, secure any vulnerable data, patch the underlying security flaw, and review their entire digital ecosystem for any other potential vulnerabilities, all while maintaining transparency with affected customers.

Why is rapid response critical in data security incidents?

A rapid response is essential to minimize the potential damage from a security breach, protect customer data, and maintain trust. Swift action demonstrates a company's commitment to data security and its readiness to protect its customers' interests.

Can FullStory be used for security purposes, beyond UX and analytics?

Yes, FullStory's session replay and analytics capabilities can be instrumental in identifying security vulnerabilities by providing insights into how data is handled and exposed during user interactions, thereby aiding in the detection and mitigation of security risks.

What are the broader implications of this case study for the travel industry?

The broader implications of this case study for the travel industry highlight the critical importance of integrating advanced analytics and continuous monitoring into their cybersecurity strategies. As travel companies increasingly rely on digital platforms to engage with customers and process transactions, the risk of data breaches and security vulnerabilities also rises. This case serves as a reminder that security is not just about protecting against external attacks but also about identifying and fixing internal system weaknesses that could lead to data exposure.



Douglas Cirillo

Head of Marketing

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