Minerva Secure

In the hospitality sector?

Reception data security customer information

The hospitality sector is a crucial part of the global economy, with millions of people traveling and staying in hotels, resorts, and other hospitality establishments every year. However, as technology continues to evolve and data becomes more valuable, the sector faces new and complex data security challenges. Let’s review the three top data security challenges faced by the hospitality sector and provide some tips for addressing these challenges.

Protecting Customer Data

It is not a surprise that one of the biggest data security challenges faced by the hospitality sector is protecting customer data. Hospitality establishments collect a vast amount of personal data, including names, addresses, email addresses, credit card details, and more. This data is highly valuable to cybercriminals, who can use it for identity theft, fraud, or other malicious activities. When I was doing security assessments for the hospitality sector, I usually found information centralised in the Property Management System (PMS), which often was linked to the Point of Sale (POS) systems.

Social engineering attacks involving distraction and misdirection.

Securing Point of Sale Systems

Point of sale (POS) systems are another area of vulnerability for hospitality establishments. These systems are used to process customer payments, and if they are compromised, it can result in the theft of sensitive data, including credit card details. Also, it is also a vector for skimming attacks, plugging in physical card readers to the keyboards or software card readers to the POS itself. Staff are often not trained in social engineering attacks involving distraction and misdirection.

Ransomware attacks

Ransomware attacks are a growing threat to hospitality establishments. These attacks involve malware that encrypts a company’s data, making it inaccessible until a ransom is paid. Ransomware attacks can be devastating for hospitality establishments, as they can result in significant financial losses and damage to the brand’s reputation.

So what can you do?

With regards to protecting customer data, hospitality establishments need to implement robust security measures:

  • Properly scope out your hospitality organisation, such as the F&B, booking facilities, online booking facilities, third party vendors who may pass you customer details, and map this across your network.
  • Segment your networks, to help prevent spread of damage.
  • Encrypt sensitive customer data.
  • Apply multi-factor authentication on systems.
  • Minimise risk losing availability of systems and information, by regular data backups.
  • Ensure that staff members are trained in data security best practices. Not only in cyber, but also general security awareness training. Physical attacks via social engineering can be rewarding without staff being vigilant.

The hospitality sector faces a range of data security challenges. By taking proactive steps to address these challenges, hospitality establishments can help ensure that their customers’ data is protected and more importantly in many cases that their brand’s reputation is preserved.

Be Secure.

Minerva Secure.

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