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HU talks with Bob Diachenko, the cybersecurity expert who discovered the breach, about steps hotels can take to prevent data incidents

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The underappreciated city of Minneapolis served as host for the 2019 edition of HITEC (produced by HFTP) which wrapped up its most recent four-day run on June 20, 2019. In the days and weeks leading up to the event, meeting solicitations and party invites filled my inbox at a growth rate any VC or entrepreneur would envy. As a first-timer to this international hospitality technology behemoth, it became apparent that HITEC actually begins a few weeks prior to when that first request or invitation lands in your over-stuffed inbox.



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Hershey Park Investigating Card Fraud Pattern: Security Expert Comment

07/28/2015

School’s out, and countless families are preparing to visit attractions like amusement parks and resort hotels. We’ve seen plenty of evidence that cybercriminals will attack all types of businesses, and those that process payment data are especially valuable. The recent investigation by popular vacation destination Hershey Park into a pattern of credit card fraud further emphasizes this. Therefore, it’s essential that hospitality companies take the necessary steps to protect customer data and ensure that stronger security measures are in place for their network, payment systems and on-premise Wi-Fi services. Making those areas a priority now will allow them to keep their visitors’ information safe and secure throughout the busy summer travel season.

Here are six common mistakes hospitality and retail companies frequently make that can increase their risk for credit card breaches:

1. Failure to Protect Incoming Internet Traffic: The first step in stealing data is finding an avenue into the targeted business. All of a business’ data circuits and its Internet connections must be protected by a robust and adaptable firewall; protecting the business from unwanted incoming traffic.
 
2. Lack of Control Over Outbound Internet Traffic: In addition to blocking unwanted traffic from getting into a location, it is always a good practice to selectively block outgoing traffic as well. Many modern breaches involve software that becomes resident on the network and then tries to send sensitive data to the hacker’s system via the Internet. No system can completely prevent unwanted malware or viruses, so a good last line of defense is making sure secure data doesn’t leave the network without the network admin’s knowledge. The same firewall used in step one should be configured to monitor outgoing traffic as well as incoming.
 
3. Failure to Adequately Protect On-Premise Wi-Fi: As people and devices are more connected to the Internet, customers will expect that they will have access to wireless communication while they are in your business. However, wireless networks can potentially expose sensitive data from your systems, especially if you are using wireless in a retail environment. A security strategy is needed to configure devices to meet operational goals, but also protect the business at the same time.
 
4. Failure to Use Two-Factor Authentication: When permitting remote access to a network, it is essential that this access is restricted and secure. At a minimum, access should only be granted to individual (not shared) user accounts using two-factor authentication and strong credentials. Remote access activities should also be logged so that an audit trail is available.
 
5. Not Updating Anti-Malware Software: It is critical to keep all anti-virus /anti-malware software up to date with the latest versions and definitions.  The companies that make anti-malware software monitor threats constantly and regularly update their packages to include preventive measures and improvements to thwart malware seen in other attacks.
 
6. Failure to Patch all Operating Systems as Security Enhancements are Released: Much like anti-virus /anti-malware updates, designers of operating systems are constantly improving their software to prevent hackers from stealing data, especially if a criminal manages to bypass the built-in security.  It is essential that the latest security releases and patches be installed on all systems. 
Almost every major breach in the last 24 months failed to incorporate at least one of these measures. As breach attacks intensify, no business is immune from increasingly sophisticated cybercriminals who see them as lucrative targets or the weak link into an even more strategic target. That explains why there’s a growing trend for hospitality businesses to choose outsource network and on-premise Wi-Fi security services, taking the burden off their hands and allowing them to focus on the core business of providing customers with exceptional dining, lodging event and travel experiences.
About The Author
Kevin Watson
CEO
Netsurion


Kevin Watson is the CEO of Netsurion.

 
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