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< Back to news 03 December, 2015

Hilton hackers highlight a valuable lesson for the hospitality industry

Paul Connelly, Managing Director at Britain’s leading purchasing company, Beacon shares hints and tips on how to keep your systems safe, with expert advice from Beacon Supply Partner, Jelf.

Data breaches have appeared all too often in the news this year, with TalkTalk, Marks and Spencer and British Gas being targeted all in the space of a week in October. In the past seven days, both Starwood Hotels and Hilton Worldwide have become the latest victims to a data breach, showing that the hospitality industry simply cannot afford to ignore the cyber-security risk.

While the news this week is likely to encourage hoteliers to consider their customers’ cyber-security, many often don’t have the knowledge to be able to educate their staff and customers on how to avoid a data breach and how to deal with one should the situation arise.

We work closely with our supplier Jelf, a leading insurance company, so that we can offer our customers the most up to date advice and education on cyber security. Education of staff and customers across the board is vital to instil confidence and ultimately ensure that guests feel secure, which will help to drive repeat bookings and avoid a drop in occupancy rates.

Our two main pieces of advice to hoteliers and hotel guests would be to ensure the risk is communicated to all key staff and customers and to avoid performing any system administrative tasks or updates while connected to wireless services, as this can open you up to risks. Instead, rely on a company provided mobile hotspot for increased security while performing updates.

It is without doubt that the recent news about Hilton Worldwide and Starwood Hotels will have caused widespread concern throughout the industry, particularly with the smaller, independent hotels that simply cannot afford the costs associated with a data breach. If you are in any doubt, we would always suggest contacting your provider or purchasing company for help and advice.

For more information follow us on Twitter or contact the Beacon Team today on 01904 695 588.