With Cyberattacks on the Rise, Is Your Hotel Protected?
By Christopher Bolger Senior Risk Manager, Venture Insurance Programs | June 29, 2014
When Target Corp. was hacked last holiday season, the size and scope of this incident brought national attention to the growing threat of large-scale, financially motivated cybercrimes. In this case, hackers stole credit and debit card records and other personal information from an estimated 70 million people.
It is believed thieves gained entry to the systems by infiltrating computers owned by one of its third-party vendors and then used "memory-parsing" malware that captures information at the point of sale before it is encrypted.
While the attack on the retail giant was one of the largest cybercrimes ever, it is only one of many ways computer systems can be breached. And retail stores are only one type of business that can be targeted.
Consider the hotel industry. With the volume of credit card swipes at check-in, as well as at their bars, restaurants and shops, hotels offer ample opportunities for cyberattacks. In fact, a credit card breach was detected earlier this year at food and beverage outlets at more than two dozens hotels belonging to some of the country's largest hotel chains.
Every hotel executive should take seriously the threat of computer security breaches, implementing the most up-to-date prevention and risk management practices, creating an emergency response plan and securing sufficient insurance coverage.
Evaluating the Threats