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Cybercrime targets hospitality

If you are in the hospitality industry then you should be concerned about network and security privacy (NSP). Most boards regard it is among their major business risks ... with good reason.

The cost of cybercrime to Australian businesses is estimated at $4.5 billion each year. A recent study in the USA has shown that the 'cyber black market' is now considered to be more profitable than the global drug trade. No surprise really, as most of it is able to be carried out from the comfort of your own living room.

Hospitality is vulnerable to the risk of NSP for a number of reasons. In the purchase of hospitality services, credit card information is used and stored, while payment for services requires significant amounts of personal information that is easily identifiable. Loyalty programmes, common in the hospitality industry, require the use of personal details and security questions. You might say that it is 'ripe for the picking' with anyone with the wrong intentions!

The NSP risks faced by hospitality businesses fall broadly into the following four categories :

  • How easily could a hacker access your client details?
  • You are what you (and your customers) write online
  • How well have you trained your employees?
  • Do you know where and how your data is stored?

No business can realistically expect to eliminate the risk altogether but prevention is normally better than cure. A great first step is to understand the network security and privacy risks facing your business and to develop strategies to minimise them.

 

Source  :  Hospitality Magazine, 23 July 2014