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People today expect to be connected always and everywhere; sometimes it’s hard to believe that there was a world before smartphones and Wi-Fi. In the time since Wi-Fi became ubiquitous in hotels, apartments, and public spaces, it has fueled the evolution of connectivity in a lot of ways. Just like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the most basic needs start at the bottom, and you can’t get to the next level without a strong foundation. 

By now, everyone is aware that hotel giant Marriott International announced on Friday a massive data breach that goes back more than four years and may have affected up to 500 million customers worldwide. 

After two years of preparation, the FlyZoo Hotel — a futuristic property that uses interactive technologies to do everything from greet guests to deliver room service — is ready for business. 

Mobile technology is fast becoming central to the entire travel experience. Consumers are increasingly using their smartphones to research trips, book accommodation, check in at the airport, and access their hotel room. But one of the next big roles mobile has to play in the travel process is mobile payment. The idea of an entirely cashless society might still seem some way off, but mobile payment is gaining popularity. As it becomes more widely used, its fast and frictionless nature will bring benefits before, during and after a trip. 

Digital marketing, also known as internet marketing, plays a significant role to boost hotel website traffic and online bookings. Recently, many big announcements were made in the digital industry, for example when Facebook introduced a new video format for marketers, or when Google announced a board core algorithm. If you are a new hotelier and want to stay ahead in the industry, then you should know what’s going on in the hotel digital marketing industry. 
 



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What Is the Secret to Secret Passwords?

06/11/2014
Sadly, according to last year’s Data Breach Investigation Report, the hospitality industry grabbed the top spot for the most data breaches in both 2011 and 2012. Released in April, the results for 2013 show the same ranking. The industry snapshots, aimed at helping organizations understand the anatomy of a data breach and how to best provide protection, offered an in-depth view of the financial services, health care, retail and hospitality sectors. Ranking behind the retail industry is, in my opinion, embarrassing.
   It was interesting that 76 percent of all industry breaches were based on weak or stolen password credentials. That’s why in the Summer 2014 issue of Hospitality Upgrade ("Tips for Password Security That Actually Work") you’ll learn some valuable tips on how to establish a corporate password management program that really works.
 
   The article covers the problems and solutions around the use and misuse of multiple passwords; how to compose hard-to-guess passwords; the importance of non-Latin passwords; changing and reusing passwords; the art and science of keeping passwords secret; intruder detection and lockout; synchronizing passwords and the latest in single sign-on; user authentication; and IT support for forgotten and locked out passwords.
 
   A strong password management program also should include the ability to shut down passwords when people leave. Over half of the insiders committing sabotage (think Edward Snowden in a waiter’s outfit) were former employees taking advantage of old accounts that were never closed.
 
One portion of the upcoming article on “Tips for Password Security That Actually Work” provides insight into the 25 worst passwords of 2013 courtesy of Splashdata, who measures them. Last year, “123456” dethroned “password” as the No. 1 password in use. My personal favorites were “iloveyou” (ranked 9th); “letmein” (very clever and ranked No. 14); “photoshop” (ranked No. 15, thank you Adobe); “monkey” (which dropped dramatically from No. 6 to No. 17—but is so random I question why it made the list in the first place); and my personal favorite “princess” (coming in at No. 22. That one might have ranked higher but I made my daughter stop using it…).
 
Read the article, “Tips for Password Security That Actually Work,” in the upcoming Summer issue of Hospitality Upgrade, due out June 18.
 

Verizon Data Breach Investigation Report 2013

  • 76% of network intrusions exploited weak or stolen credentials
  • Over 50% of the insiders committing sabotage were former employees taking advantage of old accounts.
  • Unapproved hardware (such as handheld card skimmers and personal storage devices) accounts for 41% of the cases of misuse in the report.
  • It wasn’t IT-savvy developers and administrators that were responsible for
    most data breaches, but customer service staff (like cashiers and call center
    employees) and end users. 
  • Administrators came third, but in 60% of the cases, their involvement was accidental. 47% came from customer service (call centers and cashiers)
 Hospitality and Foodservices
  • This industry has been particularly vulnerable to data breaches, and for the past two years has had more breaches than any other industry. This remains true for 2013.
  • The POS systems, which are needed to process payment transactions, have proven to be easy targets for organized criminal groups.
  • This industry, more so than any other, should emphasize preventive actions.
 
 
About The Author
Ryan Ward
Chief Security Officer
Avatier Corporation


 
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