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Cybersecurity for the hospitality sector: What you need to know
Marriott International. Hilton. Four Seasons. Trump Hotels. InterContinental. Hard Rock Hotel. These are some of the biggest hospitality chains in the business. But there’s another detail also that connects the above names: In the last couple of years, all of them have been at the receiving end of a data breach which has given them uncountable headaches and pain. It’s easy to see why the hospitality industry makes for such an inviting target to cyber criminals. Simply put, hotels store a huge amount of data about their customers. While a hotel may not have the same number of transactions as a retail store, the data they store about their own customers is substantially more. This includes plenty of personal and both financial data. The data on offer is detailed, rich and substantial – making it a gold mine for cyber criminals. On the other hand, hotels are huge, gargantuan systems. They have thousands of endpoints on which customer data is stored and can be accessed, say through WiFi, Point of Sale (POS) devices and more. What complicates things further is they can often be interconnected (i.e. restaurant data may be connected with hotel data) which exponentially increases the risk of data breach, as hackers have many avenues to enter and steal data.
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