Hospitality Breaches

Josh Henry

Leaving the Light on for Everyone

Hospitality breaches are the newest target for bad actors. Data breaches are making headlines more and more. As a result, large corporations in the hospitality industry are acquiring large targets on their back. Of course, this is no surprise. In fact, this problem has escalated since last year.

Needed to Change the Locks

In 2017, an article published by Hospital Magazine had information from recent polls. Ironically, hotels noted that payment and data security would be the “top focus” last year. This was with good reason. During the survey, it was discovered that 74% of Hotel companies did not have breach protection. Additionally less than half of said hotels used end to end encryption for cardholder data. As we have previously covered, end to end ensures that only the communicating parties can read the content. To third parties, the information is inaccessible.

Why Hospitality Breaches are Common

Any place that contains mass amounts of valuable data, especially data that can be turned for a profit, is susceptible to hacking. Hotels chains that are international hold large amounts of data, and almost always require a debit or credit card. When hacked, these servers are an oasis to card thirsty cyber criminals. If you look at an article from Hotel News Now, it shows a recent timeline of hospitality breaches.

Hospitals Less Hospitable?

This year, the trend of data breaches have seen a shift in targets. If you look at the referenced article from HNN ,you will see a rise in hotel victims. Information contained in the healthcare industry has been another hot commodity among cyber criminals. These blunders make hotels more susceptible to exploitation. These hospitality breaches, and the publicity they receive, gives momentum to other malicious actors. Copy cat crimes and broad trends ensue. Hackers are like bandwagon sports fans, they go with whoever is winning.

This Weeks Winner

The award for the most concerning hospitality breach has to be given to Marriott Hotels. In what was named the second largest data breach in history, an estimated 500 million guest had their information compromised. Even though the number of breaches reported has gone down, the magnitude of these massive breaches seems to be on the rise. A half of billion people being vulnerable to having their credit card numbers, expiration dates, addresses, etc. is concerning.

Stop the Bleeding

In conclusion, the hospitality breaches are due to a lack of awareness. As a result, these breaches affect billions of people. The recklessness by these corporations are making them a more popular target than hospitals and healthcare institutions. Will we see a change? If you made any reservation at any Starwood properties by Marriott, do your due diligence. It is your responsibility to hold corporations accountable, as it is the responsibility of all Americans to keep ourselves cyber safe!

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