Tech Talk

Recent posts

Definitely Doug 10/18/19
Posted: 12/06/2019

Sustainable Innovation
 
Sustainability can yield multiple benefits to hotels. Saving energy and water yields direct cost savings. Revenue can be generated by guests who prefer to deal with businesses that minimize their environmental impact. And many would argue that conserving scarce resources is simply the right thing to do.

Definitely Doug 12/6/19
Posted: 12/06/2019

Meetings Innovation
 
The sale and delivery of groups and meetings is perhaps the most significant and under-automated functions for many hotels. Even though groups often account for 30% to 60% of revenue, most group bookings are still handled manually for most if not all of steps, as they move from a meeting planner’s research to a confirmed booking.

The biggest enemy to any system is complexity. In a system of inputs and outputs, such as an enterprise system, more complexity means more parts are used in interaction with inputs to create the outputs. Every part that must be built and maintained costs time and money

Tracking the evolution of key performance indicators (KPIs) over time allows hoteliers to identify meaningful trends, create forecasts and budgets and assess the results of different strategies. To perform this kind of analysis, data has to be recorded within consistent time intervals and in chronological order. This is known as a time series.

Definitely Doug 11/15/19
Posted: 11/15/2019

Every time I turn around these days, I see a new vendor or product promising something called a complete Guest Experience Management, Guest Journey Management, or Guest Engagement (or some variation on those words). This week I looked at some of the emerging products claiming to be in this space, both to try to better understand it, and to see what promising ideas it may hold.



want to read more articles like this?

want to read more articles like this?

Sign up to receive our twice-a-month Watercooler and Siegel Sez Newsletters and never miss another article or news story.

x
 

End of Year Review: Data Breaches

12/17/2015
by Marion Roger

The numbers are in... this year (2015) the total number of data breaches reached 732, surpassing last year's total of 726 for the same time period, according to the San Diego-based Identity Theft Resource Center.  It is reporting more than 176 million records were exposed this year so far.  When you think that we still have two weeks to go before 2016, the trend does not augur well.

Some breaches have taken place in the hospitality and online travel space...the ones we hear about anyway.

One that may have flown under the radar is the breach at Sabre; the company acknowledged in early August that hackers had breached its GDS. Bloomberg, citing anonymous federal investigators, reported that the breach was part of the same set of Chinese-linked attacks that struck insurance carrier Anthem in February and the U.S. government's Office of Personnel Management in June.  The breach, Sabre said, involved servers managed by a third party. In its only public statement on the incident, the company also said it was not aware that any sensitive data had been compromised but was continuing to investigate.

In November, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide warned that malware designed to help cyber thieves steal credit and debit card data was found on point-of-sale cash registers at some of the company's hotels in North America. The disclosure makes Starwood just the latest in a recent string of hotel chains to acknowledge credit card breach investigations, and came just days after the company announced its acquisition by Marriott International.

Several other major hotel brands experienced a malware-driven credit card data breach. In October 2015, The Trump Hotel Collection confirmed a report about a possible card breach at the luxury hotel chain. (For more information on this case, please click here. And since misery loves company: both Mandarin Oriental and Hilton made the headlines as well.

Hilton is worth a deeper dive. A security flaw in Hilton's website allowed an attacker to access any Hilton HHonors account simply by knowing or guessing the account number. In this case, the vulnerability was particularly dangerous because Hilton didn't require logged-in users to re-enter their current passwords before choosing new ones. At that point, an attacker could do anything a legitimate account holder could do, including changing the account password, viewing past and upcoming reservations, accessing the account holder's personal information, and redeeming HHonors points for travel, hotel reservations or cash.  Granted, this is not like a credit card number breach, where the numbers can be used for purchases; rather, it's the account number and login that are being sold, which can then be translated into goods via online purchases. This created a lucrative opportunity for hackers, as they could now sell account access with greater appeal.

Whatever one takes away from this recap, one thing stood out: 2015 cemented the transition from stealing just card data to gaining access to credentials.  At some point we will see that the end game of any hack is to gain the ability to “steal things” digitally, and often the “thing” is the ability to become someone else, whether to gain benefits by cloning an identity or to become someone via their credentials – someone who can modify payroll, someone who can access a financial account and move funds, or someone who can convert data into merchandise that is sellable on the black market (think HiltonHonors breach). 

And, since POS systems seem quite often to be the easy way in, and simultaneously third parties are opening doors (think Target and Sabre), the position PCI DSS 3.1 takes on shared responsibility just drives home the attention one should give to protecting all points of entry including those you don't actually manage but can be the way in for those with malintent.

Te praesta capacem ad provocationem!

About The Author
Marion Roger
VP Business Development
Hospitality E Resources


Marion Roger, vice president of Hospitality E Resources (HER Consulting), is a specialist in the hospitality supply chain landscape who is currently leading an industry initiative to support guest data security and has developed a hotel-focused training curriculum on PII protection. With a speciality focus on electronic reservation systems, payment technology protection and data security, Marion is a regular on the speaker circuit and contributor to Hospitality Upgrade on these key topics.

 
Comments
Blog post currently doesn't have any comments.
Leave comment



 Security code