The recent news that personal details of 130 million Chinese hotel guests were being sold online came as a reminder of the importance of keeping hotel data safe at all times.
The case in the news right now involves one of the Asian country’s largest hotel chains. It is rumoured that the data was compromised when the guest details were accidentally uploaded to GitHub. This terrible mistake has led to worldwide publicity of the worst kind for the hotel involved.
While this sort of disastrous error doesn’t happen very often, this is a good moment to consider what needs to be done to avoid the most common data risks. Are there un-necessary risks that you are running right now?
Understand the Data to Be Collected
There are a few different types of data that all hotels tend to work with every single day. This includes personal details, data on the preferences of each guest and also payment transaction information.
Each of these different types of hotel data is important to you in its own way. However, what type is most likely to be viewed by hackers and cybercriminals as being worth stealing? These people are most interested in personal details such and addresses, as well as financial information like credit card numbers and bank details.
Also, the laws on data storage tend to change and evolve over time, so it is important that you stay up to date with the latest legislation on what you should be keeping and how. You don’t want to be taken by surprise by not looking after vital information as well as you should be.
Train Your Staff
It is no secret that many of the biggest data breaches in recent history have been due to staff errors. If your employees don’t know how to deal with the information that they handle then you are going to have a problem at some point.
The hotel staff should know the sensitive information and how to handle it. They also need know what programs they can and can’t use, and what data can be shared. Regular training will keep them informed and on their toes.
Check Where the Data is Being Stored
Do you know where your guest data is stored once it is collected and typed in? The simple fact is that too many hotels leave this aspect of their data security to chance.
You should take some time to find out whether this information goes once you record it. The chances are that it is stored in the cloud but how secure is the service and what back-up is available? Does it instantly become more vulnerable to attacks as soon as you enter it on your computers?
By getting to grips with the security of your hotel’s data you can feel more confident about facing up the challenges of the future without any fears in this area.