In this day and age of technology and COVID-19, one of the obstacles that we continue to face is not just how hotels adapt to a post-pandemic world and thrive but also the relentless issue of misinformation and cyberattacks. In a study at the University of Maryland (2021), it was found that there is a hacking incident every 39 seconds and this affects one in three Americans every year.
In the hotel industry, this can pose an alarming threat to the repertoire of client data. But how can we keep these security hassles far from our success? Read more to encourage a culture of cybersecurity in your hotel.
Revisit the confidentiality agreements with your employees
Also called a nondisclosure agreement or NDA, confidentiality agreements bind a person or business to treat specific details and information as a company’s trade secret and therefore both parties should not divulge or disclose, in any way whatsoever, without appropriate process and authorization. These agreements must be put into black and white and they should not be broad.
Companies or the seeking party must itemize specific information that the employees cannot reveal to protect business information from being shared with people outside of an organization at a reasonable coverage period. In attaining full and maximum implementation, employers must not only advocate but also educate everyone for data privacy and confidentiality.
Certain measures and procedures must be in place so the efforts are regulated. Various training on the detection of phishing scams, virus threats, and other cyber attacks can help towards attaining the utmost cybersecurity.
Do not pass up on cryptic passwords
Passkeys and codes are the first line of defense against unwarranted access to your information ecosystem especially in the hotel’s database that contains an exponential amount of business, client, and employee data.
Therefore, passwords do not just have to be strong. They must also be unique and kept with high security to keep hackers and malicious software at bay. Cryptic passwords are ambiguous and without meaning. They are usually comprised of both uppercase and lowercase letters, symbols, and numbers.
They may be hard to remember but they can increase your chances of full security. There might be an extensive list of passwords that employees will have to secure for themselves so it is only essential that they be provided with tactical ways on how to properly remember or store them.
It is not recommended to use the same passwords for all employees as there will never be a specific footprint for every entry. It would be hard to detect which among the employees may have breached desired confidentiality standards if there is no unique identity for every employee who has access to a data pool.
Responsible email messaging and usage are the best front act for preventing any form of data theft. All employees must have full awareness of scams prevalent in emails and know how to deal with them upon every encounter.
Avoid using unlicensed software
Unregistered software downloads could significantly contribute to the downfall of your database. Usually, these transit viruses and malware that infect your computers. In research conducted by Harrison Group (2019), twenty-four percent of unlicensed copies of Windows were infected or provided for automatic malware downloads.
These pirated copies usually cannot be updated making their reliability loosen up over time and potentially pose a security risk. With this susceptibility for cyberattacks in your hotel data, you must form stringent procedures in the procurement of software that you use for your business service.
Training your employees about how to differentiate normal from suspicious links can go a long way in avoiding such challenges. Links that may contain malware, infect your computers, and steal your data must be looked at analytically as viruses and malware these days look largely subliminal.
Customer data protection is imperative to the success of any hotel business
But this is often challenged by countless hackers who are a constant threat to any running business. Commonly, they obtain information directly from devices connected to the internet through spyware.
This spyware sends out information from your device being a host and without your knowledge can lure others into opening spam emails, clicking links, images, and other attachments. All it takes for them to be provided with access is just one wrong click. This is why it is essential to train on safeguarding personal spaces and information not just for your employees but also for your guests.
Hotel guests can be sent a newsletter or any literature which can help them protect their information in logging or making payments not just in your hotel but also in their other internet activities.
Recognition of common cybercrimes, information security risks, fraud, and phishing are topics that could be helpful for them in maintaining confident internet usage. Their knowledge of these is vital for you to be true to your cybersecurity promise. After all, it does take two to tango.
It is also very important that you know who your customers are
Managing guest data via a rich profile bank can not only provide you with the ability to understand their needs even before they check-in, but it can also be the roadway for you to create personalized marketing, and know to what extent data security is needed and required by each guest.
Over to you
The hotel industry is always changing, especially during a time of crisis. Make sure to future-proof your business and continue attracting new guests by investing in these solutions.
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Related article: How to Ensure Hotel Residents Have a Cyber-Secure Experience
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About Are Morch
Hi, I am Are Morch. Your Digital Transformation Coach that helps hotels create unique and unexpected experiences by freeing up resources to focus on new ideas through value innovation and a growth mindset.