Every business must ensure that it has appropriate cyber security to keep hackers off its network. It’s particularly important for the hotel business to protect the privacy of its guests. Data breaches can lead to unhappy guests and hefty lawsuits. Cyber security risks have significantly increased under the current pandemic as more and more businesses rely on AI and mobile technology to ensure social distancing and encourage virtual interactions.
Here’s what you need to know about cyber security in hospitality automation.
Importance of Working with IT Professionals
During the pandemic, many hotels have gone through downsizing and layoffs in response to tight budget cuts. Cutting off an IT staff is common, but such a move can make the company more vulnerable to hackers. At the same time, hotels have shifted toward virtual solutions that directly connect employees with customers. As a hotelier, it is wise to maintain an IT support team to resolve any technical problems quickly.
The more you interact with guests through your network, the more you need to pay attention to safe practices that prevent network breaches. Employees should be trained to understand how to avoid suspicious emails that might be traps set up by hackers. Hoteliers should be aware that all businesses, regardless of their nature of operations, are common targets for cyber criminals and hackers who seek confidential financial information.
By working with a team of seasoned IT experts, the hotel personnel can focus on serving their guests while the IT team oversees the technology. A dedicated team who learns the system can diagnose problems faster, thus saving confidential information from getting breached by a relentless hacker.
Reducing Business Email Compromise Fraud
Managers who deal with cyber security in the hospitality industry should know how business email compromise (BEC) fraud has become popular among hackers. This fraudulent scheme involves impersonating a well-known brand and tricking an employee into clicking an infected link or sharing confidential information with an imposter. The downsizing of IT professionals can be problematic since it often takes an experienced IT team to spot intruders on a business network.
In 2019 the FBI reported getting about 24,000 complaints associated with $1.8 billion in losses due to BEC fraud. It’s common, however, for victims to be unaware when they are attacked. Sometimes the attacker will plan a scheme over several months before launching a malware or ransomware attack that can potentially lead to downtime and equipment damage.
Hackers have become more sophisticated in their approaches to breach business networks. They may use social media to learn about employee routines and business processes. Through this information, they might find out that a company uses old equipment or software, making them even more vulnerable to an attack.
A hotel can protect itself by working with IT professionals who train employees to detect and report network intruders. They can also help a company develop a policy for determining specific employees and devices allowed to access the network. Automation software can then track all the different users and send alerts when intruders are detected. Other measures to strengthen cyber security include using complex passwords, multi-factor authentication, encryption, firewalls, and virtualization.
Using strong cyber security for hotels is crucial to maintain a trusted reputation among patrons. If you want to diversify your hotel distribution strategies, learn about the latest hospitality trends with the California Lodging Investment Conference. Contact us today to find out how this virtual event explores insights into the hotel industry.