Hotels employ computers for a variety of functions in order to enhance operations, provide better customer service, and stay competitive. While automation streamlines hotel operations and frequently improves visitor experiences, it also exposes businesses to online risks from bad actors.


The safety and well-being of staff members and visitors, as well as the reputation of their business, can all be seriously damaged by attacks, something hotel operators need to be aware of.


Why are hotels a target?

The hospitality industry generates up to 550 billion dollars in sales annually globally, according to Statista. The sector, which is responsible for almost 40% of all international data breaches and credit card theft, appears to be one of the most alluring ones.


POS breaches, in accordance with Verizon DBIR, are the precursors to breaches in hotels. 96% of the data obtained from the sector was payment-related information, 2% was personal information, and 1% was credentials. The majority of POS breaches are financially driven and opportunistic, and they primarily involve malware and hacking threat actions. While it just takes a short while for a hacker to gain access, it frequently takes hotels months to learn about the data breach.


Due to the sort of point of sale (POS) systems used, hackers target hotels. These POS environments are frequently interconnected, non-compliant, and using apps that are less secure than those found on current, hardened payment terminals, which are made to record and encrypt payment data. Instead of sending the data immediately to the payment processor as they should, hotel systems send it to the back office, adding a step and weakening the hotel POS system.


A hacker would have access to a lot of consumer data because of the volume of payment card transactions that occur between the front desk, restaurants, on-site shops, spas, parking, and other areas.


Protecting Your Hotel’s Data


Making sure you are PCI Compliant is a suggested method for protecting the data of your hotel and its guests online.


In response to the rapid expansion of PCI, the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) has proposed a set of requirements known as the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).



To avoid paying hefty fines and losing data, revenue, and consumer trust, hotels should make sure they are in compliance with these laws, which demand that companies communicate credit-card information in a safe environment.


Below is the three-step process of where PCI Compliance Starts:


  1. Examine the criteria and status of your PCI Compliance.
  2. Respond to the questionnaire based on the security framework and the risk of credit card data.
  3. Making a formal report available to banks and credit card firms.


Achieving PCI Compliance is challenging, particularly for small hotels with a tight staffing and financial budget.


Data on customers’ credit cards will be more secure if these five areas are given more attention:


  1. Keep your passwords secure


More than 80% of data thefts, according to Verizon, used stolen or insecure passwords. Every person working with client data should be able to set their own password and be reminded to change it at least once every three months. It should be mandatory for passwords to have a mix of special characters, digits, and both upper- and lower-case letters.


  1. Organize frequent training sessions and designate a specific PCI Compliance officer.


Employees’ attention is kept on security by holding training sessions. Depending on the requirements of your hotel, training is accessible on the PCI Security Standards Council website.


In addition to training, it can be beneficial to designate one employee to oversee all PCI Compliance-related responsibilities so crucial deadlines don’t go missed.


  1. Verify that your providers and technologies are compliant


Not all P2PE solutions have received PCI DSS validation. All third parties, including reservation systems, point-of-sale systems, and property management systems, shall adhere to the law. Be sure the PCI Security Standards Council can certify your solutions.



  1. Remove pointless data


Get rid of any superfluous hard copies or digital records that contain customer or credit card information that are not required for company. Your hotel may be more susceptible to a data breach the more data you store.


  1. Review


Your hotel should periodically evaluate its procedures and keep an eye out for PCI DSS changes. When those updates become available, be sure you are following the right procedures to maintain compliance.



Need assistance with PCI Compliance? CYB3R-X is always ready to help you.


From PCI Compliance’s inception, we have assisted hoteliers with compliance by offering manageable network security solutions that are both inexpensive and effective. Discover how to streamline the procedure so that you are always prepared for an audit while concentrating on your business.


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