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Recently, there has been considerable attention surrounding the issue of network security at hotels and resorts. These networks have been notoriously insecure, particularly in the eyes of travelers who have heard horror stories about public, unprotected Wi-Fi at hospitality institutions. Now, however, it’s time for this industry to do better.
Many decision-makers are seeking solutions that can address the pain points these organizations have faced. But what, exactly, do hotels need from their security solutions?
Hotels have an uphill battle when it comes to their network security. Much of this is due to the current threat environment and increasing cybercriminal activity, which has bred mistrust among customers:
Early last year, the Federal Trade Commission published an article that finally confirmed what travelers have feared for a while now – the often vulnerable nature of many hotel Wi-Fi networks.
“Hackers are using security vulnerabilities in hotel Wi-Fi to steal people’s passwords and other sensitive information,” the FTC stated. “Here’s how it works: [A]s a hotel guest, you try to get online using their Wi-Fi network and get a pop-up for a software update. But the network has been compromised. When you click to accept the download, you unknowingly load software designed to damage your computer or steal your information.”
What’s more, a recent large-scale breach affecting a number of well-known hotel chains demonstrates the seriousness of the current threat environment. Skift reported that 20 HEI Hotels properties were impacted, including the Marriott in Boca Raton, Florida, and The Westin in Washington, D.C. This caused the payment card information of tens of thousands of customers to be compromised.
Due to this landscape, it is in hotels’ best interests to ensure that their networks, the online activity of their visitors and the payment card information of their customers are properly secured.
There are a few critical security features that hotel decision-makers should seek out within their network security solutions. These include:
A state-of-the-art firewall: This asset is an imperative part of ensuring that only authorized users have access to network resources. With a next-generation firewall in place, the hotel can be assured that malicious actors and hackers are effectively kept out of the network underpinning the Wi-Fi as well as the hotel’s point-of-sales system.
Advanced filtering: The right filtering capabilities can help ensure that the FTC’s example above doesn’t take place within your hotel. Filtering means the hotel has complete control over the traffic traversing its network, and can work to prevent malicious advertisements, spam messages and unsafe websites.
Robust management: A best-in-class network security solution will also allow for complete management of network resources, including the ability to create different policies for specific user groups. Within a hotel setting, this means that managers will have access to all the information they need and unauthorized access to sensitive information is prevented.
Network security is imperative for today’s hotels, as is selecting a solution that can provide you with everything your hospitality business needs. To find out more, contact Untangle today.
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