When guests stay at a hotel, whether for leisure or business, there is a level of data privacy which is expected from Hoteliers. The nature of the hospitality industry makes that expectation highly personal, when you consider customers are making the decision to pay for what amounts to a temporary home for a period of time. So, when that privacy has been violated by an unauthorized data intrusion, like it has a number of times recently to hotels in an extremely embarrassing way, the damage can be profound for both hoteliers and their guests alike.
The nature of hospitality also makes hotels particularly enticing targets for hi-tech thieves to breach their data. Everyday, new guests arrive at hotels, bringing with them personal and credit card data that cross multiple complex systems. Frequently, these systems are composed of software applications which may have been un-securely integrated, increasing vulnerability. Everything from reservation systems to hotel Wi-Fi can be potentially zeroed in by hackers, with the point of sale systems being the target in the overwhelming majority of cases.
The consequences of security breaches of hotel customer data go beyond mere embarrassment. The costs to hoteliers can be significant, both directly financial and in terms of reputation damage to the brand. If travelers don’t feel as if their private information is safe, they will simply book their stay somewhere else. Hotel guests should feel confident in the hotel’s data security measures.
Ramping up data security has been a long time coming for most public facing industries. This has also been especially true for hospitality. Hoteliers need to begin by ensuring all network systems are fully secure. Customer payment security must be made a priority at all levels. Every step of the booking and check-in process must be payment industry compliant for all credit and debit card transactions. Hotels must implement the new chip-based technology in order to safeguard the credit card information of their guests. Hotel staff must also be fully trained and strict protocol put in place for them to follow in regards to handling credit card information.
Hotel customers are usually seeking overnight accommodations either to escape their everyday lives and find solace in vacation time or needing to be on the road for work. Either way, hotel security of their personal information is the last worry they need to face when they are away from home. Hoteliers must protect the private information which has been entrusted to them.
Posted via OnFast - http://www.OnFast.com