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The Key To Protecting Client Data At Your Hotel

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Due to the nature of the data that businesses operating in the hospitality sector collect, information security is a crucial component of many industries, not least of which is the hospitality sector. A variety of sensitive personal guest data, including names, phone numbers, addresses, and credit card information, is collected and electronically stored by hotels, motels, resorts, and rental apartment buildings. Due to the existence of several databases and devices carrying both Payment Card Information (PCI) and Personally Identifiable Information, the hospitality industry looks to present an excellent target vector for committing crimes like identity theft and credit card fraud (PII).

In addition to highlighting some recommended practices for safeguarding hospitality data, this post focuses on four of the most pressing data security issues in the hospitality sector. 

Data Security Issues in Ownership Structures of Hospitality Complexes

Complex ownership structures are common for restaurants, hotels, and other businesses in the hospitality industry. These structures may include a franchisor, an individual owner or group of owners, and a management firm that serves as the operator. Information may be stored by each of these organizations using a distinct computer system, and it may often transfer between those systems.

Reliance on card payments

Due to its very nature, the hospitality sector depends heavily on cards as a means of payment.

High Employee Turnover

Staff must be properly trained to collect and maintain personal information in a safe manner if data is to be protected. Additionally, well-trained staff members are aware of social engineering ploys and are conversant with an organization’s compliance needs.

Internal Threats

Workers providing data to third parties without informing their employer about it constitutes a more subtle form of data risk.

Best Practices for Hospitality Data Security

Data protection best practices for hospitality industry businesses include:

  • Whenever possible, encrypt credit card data.
  • To keep a workforce that is well-trained, run a continual cybersecurity training program.
  • Always abide with applicable laws, such as PCI DSS.
  • To defend against typical attacks, use cybersecurity tools like firewalls, network monitoring, anti-malware, and traffic filtering.
  • Test the cybersecurity defenses of your firm by acting like a hacker throughout these tests.
  • To restrict access to sensitive information, be aware of where your data is located and follow the least privileges concept.

Institutions in the hospitality industry are better equipped to implement an all-encompassing information security strategy that includes the necessary protocols, processes, and personnel to improve cybersecurity if they have a thorough understanding of the primary data security risks and some industry standards for mitigating those risks.