1. Your Hotel is a Target
Hotels are low hanging fruit for hackers and the hospitality industry is the number 1 target for cyber criminals. The list of recent victims of data breaches in the hotel industry is long and filled with highly recognizable brand names. Whether you are a well-known chain hotel or an in dependent resort, you are a potential target for hackers.
Hotels and resorts are attractive targets for hackers because of the constant flow of guests, and their credit card data, across a complex and varied network. From reservations, to wifi, to restaurants, there are a wealth of opportunities for the hackers to target. Most breaches in hospitality target the POS (91%), but other targets can include reservations procedures and unsecure integrations between software applications.
2. Breaches are Very Expensive
In the US, the average cost of a breach is $195 per record. The average breach in the US involves almost 30,000 records. Experiencing a data breach could cost your hotel an excess of $5 million dollars. The negative publicity associated with a breach also adds to the costs. Remember the Target breach of 2013? As a result of this second largest data breach in history, Target’s quarter of quarter profit decreased 46% when comparing with the year prior. It is definitely cheaper to address the problem than to clean up afterwards.
3. Your guests are counting on you
Hospitality is known as an industry of service and privacy, guests want to be able to get away from the worries of their normal life. They expect a clean room, plenty of power outlets, free wifi – and most importantly, that the personal data they share with you will remain personal. Guests need to be confident that they can rely on your hotel to safeguard their personal information and credit card data. If they have any doubt about your security, they can and will choose other accommodations.
These are three simple reasons why payment security should be a top concern at your hotel. There are ways to minimize, or even eliminate, the risk of data breaches. First, make payment security a priority for every department of your hotel, not just the IT department. Ensure that all employees understand the risks involved with improper handling of credit cards through training and education.
We recommend that all hotels and resorts move to a point to point encryption (P2PE) solution to eliminate the risk of data security breaches. With a P2PE solution, cardholder data never touches your PMS or POS. Without that data in your system, your hotel is no longer an attractive target. Springer-Miller Systems can help with P2PE Secure Payments Solutions. Contact us to learn how to secure your payments and guest data.