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The importance of IT security in the hospitality industry

One of the industries with the highest risk of security breaches in the hospitality industry. A large volume of customer data is handled on a daily basis, including card details, names and addresses. This year alone, 5 major hotel groups have publically reported security breaches globally. This highlights the risks that need to be addressed to prevent this happening for large global names and smaller companies alike, to protect their customers and contacts.

Growing awareness of data protection

With the number of security breaches worldwide each year, it is no surprise that more and more people are aware of their data being given to anyone, and knowing it is sufficiently protected. Each person needs to be able to trust their hotel or the place that they’ve visited to keep their details private at all times. All companies are legally required to meet certain expectations of data protection regulations, and as an IT provider, it is your responsibility to ensure that all IT infrastructure provided to your clients contributes to data protection.

Consequences of failure to comply with data protection

Failure to comply with UK data protection laws can result in catastrophic consequences for your clients within the hospitality sector. Perhaps the hardest to recover from is the damage caused to customer trust, and brand reputation, which can be difficult to rebuild. The result of failure to comply can also include significant financial penalties and legal complications where affected parties are able to seek compensation for insufficient security measures being taken to protect them.

Keeping data secure using IT

Most businesses will now store the majority of their secure information on computers, which means their IT infrastructure needs to be able to restrict unauthorised access and prevent breaches. Without implementing security measures, a breach can result in downtime for your customers, which can be both costly and time-consuming. You should ensure that there are restrictions to access different levels of information, and implement all basic security features within their IT infrastructure such as usernames and passwords.

Planning ahead for complete security

Having a plan for your customers to manage all the data that they have is also important, and the most effective way of doing this is to create an Information Security Management System, or ISMS. This should include individual roles and responsibilities regarding data and how it is processed from acquisition to disposal, and is particularly important for those in the hospitality industry.

IT resellers won’t always have a set schedule, with customer demands changing regularly. Marathon has experience in implementing security features, as well as creating entire secure networks from scratch. We work on a white label basis to support your customers with their IT. If you’re looking to fill a skills gap and provide your customers with greater IT security, get in touch with Marathon today on 020 8329 1000.

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