Hospitality firms must beat off hackers to safeguard their businesses

Data breaches are on the increase at hospitality businesses, warns Vodat – News from Vodat International

Hospitality organisations who install Wi-Fi networks to connect in-house POS and staff devices, as well as provide free Wi-Fi to customers, are increasingly vulnerable to cyberattacks that could impact their businesses, says Vodat International, a leading network security provider to the hospitality industry.

Data breaches are on the increase at hospitality businesses. According to one study*, the hospitality industry was the victim of 14% of all security compromises and data breaches, ranking second only to retail.

In its new Security Guide, Vodat outlines some of the tactics used by hackers to infiltrate Wi-Fi networks – and how hospitality firms can fight back against them. Paul Leybourne of Vodat International explained: “Without sufficient security, hackers can access a Wi-Fi network and monitor data traffic, disrupt transactions and even launch a distributed denial of service (DDOS) attack, stopping venues from trading altogether. Hackers can also set up a fake Wi-Fi hotspot on-site, tricking both staff and customers into logging on so that personal details, including identities and passwords, can be accessed.”

For hospitality firms to secure their Wi-Fi networks, Vodat recommends:
• Go beyond simple passwords: multi-factor authentication such as tokens and push notifications sent to mobile phones are significantly more secure than traditional password access to Wi-Fi networks.
• Divide and secure your network: make it difficult for hackers to move around if they manage to breach your Wi-Fi system. For example, if they’ve accessed data stores this should not automatically give them access to a POS system. Each part of a system should be secured in isolation.
• Use automatic monitoring: deploy software that can automatically monitor your network, looking for suspicious activity or strange data flows. Once alerted you can stop a potential attack before damage is done.
• Educate employees: staff awareness of security issues and processes is a vital part of any strategy. Undertake regular training to ensure all understand what is expected of them.

Paul Leybourne added: “The PCI Security Standards Council recommends the use of a Wireless Intrusion Prevention System (WIPS) to automate wireless network scanning. This layer of security is also useful for monitoring network performance, and discovering access points with configuration errors. Vodat’s WIPS can scan a LAN network’s radio spectrum looking for rogue access points set up by hackers to enter a system. It can also spot excessive personal Wi-Fi use by employees, which can trigger security issues.”

To download Vodat’s Security Guide visit https://www.vodat-int.com/security-guide/network-security/. For more information on network security visit https://www.vodat-int.com/

(*Source: Data Breach Security Guide for the Hospitality Industry, 2016

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