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When people go on holidays or travel for business, they often stay in a hotel. Staying at a hotel can be a great experience. However, in today’s digital era, when travelers are informed and well connected, their perceptions and desires are changing. Nimesh Dinubhai shares the power of the personal touch to make all guests feel valued. 

Consumers are growing more comfortable using smart devices at home and while traveling. Asking their AI-enabled products to do everything from opening the front door to turning off lights has become almost second-nature. However, realize that the more Internet of Things (IoT) devices you connect to your network, the more possible access points to your IT systems and data stores you open for cyber attackers. Dean Coclin looks into the risk of devices and security measures to protect them from intruders.

A recent study finds that 89 percent of sites leave their users' accounts potentially exposed to hackers due to unsafe password practices. Do yours fall within the majority? Geneva Rinehart discusses which websites might need a password update. 

If the 2017 holiday season taught us anything, it’s that consumers are not just eager but ready for voice search engine technologies. They were the season’s hottest trend in gift buying, whether it was smartphones with voice search capabilities or digital virtual assistants like Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Echo and Google Home. Nimesh Dinubhai talks about the importance of implementing voice techonology now to stay ahead of the curve.

May 25 is quickly approaching, and the streets are abuzz with GDPR. Hoteliers are struggling for guidance and everyone has a thought or opinion as to what getting to GDPR compliance means. The worst part is so many hotels receiving incomplete or faulty information and will be in for a rude awakening soon. David Durko gives a checklist for hoteliers to focus on compliancy as the deadline quickly approaches. 



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Which Hotel Brands Rank Highest for Travel Website Security?

05/29/2018 Tagged as: data breaches, security, travel websites


Many reading this are in the overachieving travel superhero club, balancing between hotel technology guru implementing your own brand’s marketing and technology and frequent traveler yourself. You may have half a dozen (or more) travel websites that you use regularly. We NEVER ever would use the unsecured public Wi-Fi connection, but have you ever given security a thought when logging onto your favorite travel website – how secure is it?

With all the news about data breaches, a recent study ranking the security of travel websites caught my attention. Perhaps the time has come to force users to create more secure passwords, and from the travel side bring in technology to make access more secure. As a hotel industry, let’s grab that top ranking spot back from AirBnB. 

The study was conducted by Dashlane researchers from April 16 – 20, 2018 (full disclosure – Dashlane is a digital security company that manages passwords). The researchers evaluated five security criteria on 55 popular travel related websites. A site received a point for each criterion they met for a maximum score of 5/5. A score of 4/5 was deemed as passing and meeting the threshold for strong user password security. 

The rankings, which examined password and account protection security on 55 of the world's most popular travel-related sites, found that 89 percent of sites leave their users' accounts potentially exposed to hackers due to unsafe password practices.

The highest ranking for 2018 travel website password security went to AirBnB with a score of 5/5.
Honorary mention goes to Marriott, Hilton and Royal Caribbean for scoring a good 4/5 ranking.
Average ranking went to Best Western, Hyatt, Booking.com, KAYAK, Priceline and Travelzoo with a 3/5.
Below average, with a ranking of 2/5, are Disney Cruise Line, Expedia, HomeAway/VRBO, hotels.com and Travelocity.

In the set we can just label “needs improvement” (receiving a 1 out of 5) are Accor Hotels, Choice Hotels, IHG, Carnival Cruise Line, Hotwire and Trivago.
 
There is definitely room for improvement when we look at the results of this study. Recommendations to travel sites include providing two-factor authentication (2FA) and requiring users to update passwords that exceed 8 characters with a mix of letters, numbers and special characters.
 
"Big names in the travel industry often come under fire for their physical treatment of customers, receiving public blowback on social media for flight delays, egregious treatment of passengers, or even foodborne illnesses," said Emmanuel Schalit, CEO at Dashlane. "In many cases the result is a close examination of business practices and positive shift. The travel industry should treat their cybersecurity failings in much the same fashion, and make the necessary changes, such as adding 2FA, in order to protect customers' digital privacy."
 
To read the press release and study, click here. My next assignment is to visit my favorite travel sites to update some passwords.
About The Author
Geneva Rinehart
SVP, Managing Editor
Hospitality Upgrade


Geneva Rinehart is the managing editor at Hospitality Upgrade. For two decades, she has followed the world of hospitality technology. On occasion she will chronicle hospitality technology issues, technology trends, and new technologies for Hospitality Upgrade on LinkedIn and Twitter: @genevarinehart

 
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