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Time is limited. Once it’s gone, you can’t gain it back. Similarly, once a room goes unsold for a night, it will go unsold forever. There’s no way to recover that loss, because there’s no way to go back in time.
 
Many hotels fight this limitation by trying to sell as many rooms as possible. If all the rooms are completely booked, time no longer becomes a factor. But most don’t have the luxury of being at-capacity every single night. That’s why last-minute booking apps are growing in popularity in the industry, where hotels can make the most of each day. These apps specifically target guests who don’t plan far in advance, seeking accommodations from one week to one minute later.
 
There are several different ways your hotel can benefit from using last-minute booking apps in your business strategy.

IoT is Coming, Jon Snow…
Posted: 05/21/2019

Hospitality is prime for the coming advent of the various devices that make up the Internet of Things. Estimates show the industry now represents 17.5 million rooms worldwide and savvy guests are demanding more personalization and an overall improved guest experience along their connected travel journey and belief is that IoT can bring this to reality. 

The forces driving local search rankings are constantly changing. But recent studies suggest that in 2019, four key factors make up the local search algorithm. 
 
The most significant factor is Google My Business (GMB). If you’re not on it, get on it now.

The robotic revolution in the hospitality industry might seem to have taken a step back. This January, the famously quirky Henn-Na Hotel in Japan fired half of its 243 robot staff. The robotic workforce reportedly irritated guests and frequently broke down.

Think about the moment when you first enter your hotel room. Look around: Does the room tell you anything unique about the hotel where you are staying? Or is it all beige walls and double beds with white covers, and you have to walk back outside and look at the sign on the hotel’s facade to even remember where you are?



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POODLE: A Major Threat or Call to Action?

10/23/2014

In the fast paced world of information security it seems that exploits outpace the fix resulting in the compromise of sensitive data. Security has always been a reactive discipline but maybe that is changing.  

In the case of POODLE, the latest in a list of highly publicized vulnerabilities the exploit appears to have been identified and corrective actions published before any significant damage could be wreaked. 

Identified and reported by Google researchers, POODLE affects the Secure Socket Layer (SSLv3) protocol and if exploited could allow information transmitted between computers and servers to be intercepted in an unencrypted form. Currently it seems that POODLE is not as serious as the Heartbleed bug, since an attacker needs to have a privileged position in the network to exploit POODLE. This type of attack falls into the man-in-the-middle category. Man-in-the-middle means that an individual needs to insert themselves between the computer and server in order to capture data. In other words the intruder would need to compromise your computer network before they could effectively take advantage of POODLE.

So what does this means for the hospitality industry? The challenge is that most brand booking sites are configured to meet the lowest common denominator in terms of security. This is done to accommodate the large permutation of users from around the world who use any number of web browsers with any number of security configurations and helps prevent users from being technically excluded from using the sites. The challenge this presents is that this also creates the greatest number of holes in the architecture and elevates the risk of using brand websites. We work very closely with many of the major brands and have it on good authority that they are already testing an appropriate fix. They assure us that they have the necessary controls in place to mitigate risks to the consumer. So that speaks to the larger global brands but what about the smaller regional chains and independent properties? These properties may lack in-house expertise or guidance to help assess and remediate vulnerabilities. So for these properties the biggest risk is in their inability to identify the technical challenges, lack of security surrounding their wireless infrastructure and the time it takes them to identify and patch key systems. Historically smaller organizations have been slow in identifying vulnerabilities, have no knowledge of how to secure wireless networks and have been even slower in remediating vulnerabilities.

What Businesses Need to Do

In order to mitigate risk of this bug or any vulnerability there are a few courses of action:

  1. Check to see if your web servers are vulnerable – there are a number of free tools available to audit your systems
  2. Use tools that support TLS_FALLBACK_SCSV, a mechanism that prevents attackers from forcing Web browsers to use SSL 3.0 – this will require verification of application compatibility
  3. Disable SSL 3.0 altogether, or disable SSL 3.0 CBC-mode ciphers – verification of compatibility
  4. Set your computer browser to only use TLS instead of SSLv3.0
  5. Patch systems when vendor security fixes are released.
  6. Regularly scan your Internet facing and internal systems for vulnerabilities.
  7. Run current anti-virus, anti-malware and firewall software.
  8. Change passwords frequently and do not use shared accounts.
  9. Follow the PCI Security Standards for Security Best Practices.
About The Author
David Durko
CEO
Security Validation, LLC


David Durko is the CEO and chief compliance officer for Security Validation’ Data Security Advisory Practice. Security Validation provides PCI and GDPR Assessment Services along with Virtual Data Privacy Officer services from its offices in the U.S. and U.K.

 
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