Enrico Panai

Enrico Panai
Università degli Studi di Sassari | UNISS · Dipartimento di Scienze Umanistiche e Sociali



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Enrico Panai currently works at the Dipartimento di Scienze Umanistiche e Sociali , Università degli Studi di Sassari. Enrico does research in Communication and Media and Behavioural Economics. Their current project is 'Cyber Security Awareness in the tourism industry'. www.enricopanai.com
Additional affiliations
January 2020 - April 2020
University of Malta
  • Erasmus
September 2001 - July 2007
Università degli Studi di Sassari
  • Professor (Associate)
October 2017 - July 2020
Università degli Studi di Sassari
Field of study
  • Cyber Security Awareness in the Tourism Market (Economic geography)
September 1993 - July 1999
Università degli Studi di Sassari
Field of study
  • Philosophy


Project (1)
On the 6th of December 2016, the four-star hotel Romantik Seehotel Jägerwirt, in Austria, was hit by a ransomware (Wired, the 2nd of February 2017). All data is encrypted and a 2 Bitcoins ransom is paid (approximately 1500 Euros in that period) in exchange for the decryption key. Despite paying for the ransom, the hackers attack the hotel again a few weeks later. Beyond the temporary dysfunctions, the cyber attack has damaged the Austrian hotel e-reputation, causing a loss. That kind of cyber attack is increasingly frequented. Moreover, in the tourism industry, reputation-related effects are stronger because when a hotel customer enters into a hotel, he comes in a private universe that should never be violated. Paradoxically, however, this kind of attack is not technologically very advanced. Generally, it is a human weakness, caused by unaware employees. While security technologies for small business are more available, small is done for actively improving cybersecurity awareness. Additionally, in the tourism industry, entrepreneurs and their employees are generally overwhelmed by intense work concentrate in the peak period. So they do not have the time to assure or implement cybersecurity compliance. Yet without security or the perception of safety the tourism market cannot flourish. For evaluating the level of cybersecurity awareness in an organization, researchers or security agencies generally use surveys or audits. Nevertheless, we cannot impose high-level compliances to small touristic business. To be honest, both are too expensive and time consuming for a small touristic business in the middle of the peak season. We need to find more agile indicators, not only to gauge the cyber risk but also to force to an action. That’s why we need to find specific indicators for small enterprises to identify their cyber-connected risks and improve the cyber hygiene of their work-team. In this way, we will allow managers to find the appropriate and most efficient learning solution for their employees in order to develop the right cyber security awareness. In other words, this research aims to highlight only those indicators that are capable to trigger an action (as acquiring a skill through an adapted learning module) without affecting their business too much.