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5 Cybersecurity and Data Theft Threats to Hotel Industry

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Hotel Cybersecurity is the prime demand of the hour. These days hotels are the primary target of cybercriminals. This is because to provide perfect experience hotels collect a lot of guest data.

This data can be very valuable and that is the reason people have their eye on it.

Your vulnerability can lead to data theft and can be a great issue for you and your customers.

One such attack happened on Marriot.

In late 2018, there was an announcement from the Marriott hotel chain that there was an attack on one of its reservation systems. In the attack, the attackers withdraw hundreds of millions of customer records, including credit card and passport numbers.

The attack was on Marriot’s Starwood property’s system back in 2014.

This was detrimental for the brand and catastrophic for the guests.

Ergo, in this article, I am going to list the threats to your cybersecurity that you can be prone to.

An image with black background with cybersecurity written in white with broken glass

A cartoon showing a man coming out of a computer to take away a file as a cybersecurity crime

Already mentioned by mentioning again that this can be catastrophic for your guests.

This is the biggest threat to your cybersecurity.

Your guest’s data is very valuable on the dark web. And if his details are compromised then his life will become a mess.

The hackers steal their identity and use it for financial gains. Using his details the hackers can get credit cards or loans or use the details in other ways.

The impact us real and result in time and money loss.

The user whose identity is stolen and a loan or credit card are issued on his name has to prove that it was not him. This is a long legal process.

To protect your hotel from identity theft you can use a GDPR compliant hotel reservation system.

Ransomware is a form of malware that encrypts a victim’s files. The attacker then demands a ransom from the victim to restore access to the data upon payment.

 

Users are shown instructions for how to pay a fee to get the decryption key. The costs can range from a few hundred dollars to thousands, payable to cybercriminals in Bitcoin.

So a ransomware attack will encrypt all your data which will cause issues in guest check-ins, billing, generating the key and many other operations.

This will lead to an obvious money loss in two forms. One in the form of Ransome and others is the loss that you faced during the attack.

The other impact is the degradation of guest experience which is detrimental in the long term.

Phishing is one of the oldest methods of spamming. Although it has become very sophisticated these days.

It is a type of social engineering attack in which a person camouflage to be trustworthy and take your details.

The attacker allures you to open an email, message, enter your credentials or asks for your credit card details. Then he uses these details in several ways.

If he gets access to your email then he gets access to your various social media accounts. Your credit card details can be directly used with monetary benefits.

If your staff falls in such type of attacks, the attacker can use their credentials to access your system. Which ay lead to Identity theft.

PoS systems are breached for the payment data of the customer.

The point of sale is a system that is used in the hotel for front office operations and restaurant operations. Hotels are the biggest target of such type of attacks.

And this is the loophole where we give the least of the attention.  These systems are very vulnerable and mistakes like weak passwords and insecure remote access, malware infection and improper configuration increase the chance of a POS system highjacking.

DDoS stands for Distributed Denial-of-Service. This is one of the most infamous and dangerous types of attacks known across the globe.

In DDoS, the hackers crash a computer or a server by flooding it with traffic it cannot withstand.

The traffic can consist of incoming messages, connection requests, or fake packets. This is again done to ask for a ransom.

You are first threatened or attacked at a low level and if you do not pay them what they want then you are attacked.

So you need to have a cybersecurity plan that when there is an attack then how you are going to respond to mitigate its effect. The prevention depends on the computer architecture your hotel is using.

So these were some most of the prominent threats that a hotel’s cybersecurity can face. Of course with the advancement of the technology, there are more than the listed ones.

But these are mostly used and more dangerous. You need to have a plan against all these or you will have to face the consequences.

I hope I was able to bring the topic efficiently in front of you. Please let me know if you liked and your suggestions are most important and most welcomed.

If you want to know more about QloApps then read here. And contact the team here.

Thanks for the read!!!

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