July 1, 2024

How to Ensure Security at Your Hotel in a World of Interconnectivity

Posted By: Admin


In today’s highly digital world, cybersecurity and data protection are essential. The more we integrate digital processes into business operations, the more mindful we need to be about maintaining the highest level of security. This rings true especially for hoteliers, as Cornell University reported that 31% of hospitality providers have reported data breaches. 

For hotels, protecting customer information is the top priority. The successful breach of one business can reveal thousands of credit cards and other sensitive records. Companies are responsible for protecting their customer’s data by investing in secure software and maintaining common sense cyber security practices. With that in mind, here’s a great place to start. 

Seek Out Secure Tools

Your hotel management software acts as the hub of your business. It’s crucial to select a vendor that provides strong backend protections and arms you with a suite of security features to protect the front end. A secure hotel management platform is frequently updated with security enhancements, integration additions and resources to help support your team. 

Know Where Your Data Is

There are several ways technology platforms can store your data. Currently, most software providers use a cloud-service model, meaning customer data is stored on a third-party server. Generally, in cybersecurity, the fewer parties involved, the more secure a system is; however, opting for a server host is more secure in this case. 

There is a difference between software security and server security. A software provider is an expert in one but not necessarily the other. By outsourcing data hosting, they can provide customers with solid protection on both fronts. Check with your provider to see who their data host is. Look for recognizable names like Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS) or IBM. As trusted names in the industry, they have unmatched resources and expertise in data security. 

Ask About Security Testing

Cyber threats are constantly evolving, which means cybersecurity is too. Review your technology partner’s security page for information about ongoing testing and annual training for security specialists. If the information is not listed, contact a customer representative. It’s better to have an overly cautious vendor than one who has become complacent. 

Know Your Security Features and Use Them

Every hotel management system is different, but good features to look for include the following: 

  • Two-factor authentication. This sends a confirmation code to a secondary device or alternate contact when a user logs in to ensure their identity. This makes it harder, but not impossible, for hackers to break in using stolen passwords.
  • Single sign-on (SSO). This feature enables users to access multiple systems with one set of credentials. It reduces the need to memorize multiple passwords and the number of places a hacker can attempt to get in.
  • Security profiles. Not every user needs to access the same amount of data. Security profiles enable managers and business owners to assign capabilities and access according to a user’s position. For example, a cashier needs access to the point-of-sale system, but they don’t need access to payroll.

Implement Processes and Staff Training

According to a joint study by Stanford University and security firm Tessian, 85% of data breaches result from human error. A man may only be as good as his tools, but the reverse is also true. Tools are only as effective as their user. Staff training and comprehensive security processes are as crucial to keeping your data safe as your software. Your hotel management software partner should arm your team with the tools and resources to learn the technology, stay informed about updates, and learn industry best practices.

Raise Awareness within Your Business

Phishing scams, suspicious links, and unsecured websites are common tactics hackers use to trick or outright steal information from people. Employees who don’t know what to look for are more susceptible to making these mistakes; that’s why every employee should undergo basic cyber awareness training. These courses are not designed to be overly technical but provide employees with easy and tactical steps to keep systems safe at work or home. 

And just as vendors need ongoing training, so do your workers. Remember, new threats and new methods are constantly evolving. What works one day could become a liability in a month or two. 

Have a Response and Recovery Plan

Unfortunately, even the best security in the world isn’t foolproof, so you need a plan for when something goes wrong. Where did the breach occur? How will you recover your data? How will you alert your customers and keep them informed? What steps can be taken to ensure it doesn’t happen again? These are essential questions your business needs to plan for. 

Operating a hotel business in a more interconnected world has great advantages. You can reach more potential customers, optimize your operations with integrations, and create efficiencies across your entire business. Along with the benefits of a more tech-savvy hotel comes a heightened risk of cybersecurity challenges. Along with preparing your team and treating customer data carefully, your hotel management software can be a strong asset in ensuring your security. 

If you’re looking for a property management system with military-grade security, request a personalized Solonis demo today.  

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