IT Threats in Hospitality

IT Threats in Hospitality

From exclusive private members’ clubs to sprawling hotels – and everything in between – the use of IT in hospitality is growing rapidly. And it’s easy to see why. Technology can make almost every aspect of hospitality easier. Whether that’s taking reservations, handling bookings for facilities, entertaining guests, or anything else, it’s clear that tech has a bright role in the future of the hospitality industry.

However, with the growing adoption of digital technologies comes a growing number of threats. This is natural. The more systems you have, the more opportunity there is for things to go wrong. The problem is that hospitality businesses are among the worst for implementing the right measures. In fact, only 66% of hospitality managers consider cyber security a priority, compared to 82% of all businesses. 

Unfortunately, hospitality is like a theme park for hackers. They can’t get enough of it. With so many potential entry points – and so much potential impact – cybercrime in the hospitality sector is rising. 

Being aware of IT threats in hospitality is an important stepping stone to reducing your risk. 

Exploring common threats in Hospitality

No one can predict what sort of threats will impact their business. But what we can do is understand the most common risks in hospitality, helping us build a strong strategy for prevention and recovery.

Some of the biggest IT threats facing hospitality leaders today include…

1. Customer data theft

Hospitality businesses hold huge amounts of information about their guests. Data is collected at practically every digital touchpoint, from booking accommodation to purchasing a meal in an on-site restaurant. Hackers are using older methods such as phishing – malicious links masquerading as legitimate interfaces – as well as more sophisticated modern attacks to access and steal this data. 

2. Malware

Malware refers to any malicious software installed on a system, such as adware, spyware, and ransomware. One of the biggest threats in hospitality is the use of malware to spark point of sale (POS) attacks; attacks that take place when a guest is making a payment. Using malware, cybercriminals are able to access confidential data, including customer names and account numbers. 

3. DDoS attacks

Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks have the potential to shut down an entire hospitality network. This is a huge threat; consider just how many devices and systems are used across a venue, and how many venues are within a single network. These attacks mean that criminals only need to find one single weak point in order to be able to attack everything from TVs to security cameras. 

4. System misuse

This is probably the biggest threat of all. Not because of the risk or the impact, but because it’s a threat that’s so easy to overlook. How technology is used has a huge effect on how secure it is. And while your employees may never intentionally spark vulnerabilities in your software, it can happen unintentionally. Especially when staff haven’t received full training in the systems they’re using. 

Reducing risk

While threats exist, so do solutions. And many hospitality businesses already have a wide range of solutions at their fingertips – even though they don’t yet realise it. The question is: do you?

If you already have a Microsoft 365 subscription, then you’ve got what you need. You just need to use it. 365 is, of course, most closely associated with productivity tools like Outlook, Word, and Excel. But among the many apps available to subscribers, there are a whole host of powerful security features that can help protect you from data leaks, malicious attacks, and major security breaches. 

Operate with confidence

While there’s a lot to take in when it comes to using Microsoft 365 for security, it’s important to know that you’re not alone. A growing number of hospitality businesses are relying on support from a managed IT service provider – like us here at Reliable Networks – to help them navigate IT threats. 

At Reliable Networks, we’re here to help you enhance your digital security position to keep your hotel, club, or restaurant as safe as possible. Want to know more? All you have to do is get in touch

Stephen Howe

Stephen Howe