236 | Breach of Trust: Cybercrime a pervasive threat to the hospitality industry


It’s a given in today’s technological age that you operate a hotel business that depends on technology to process customer credit card purchases and to store personal information about your guests that helps you serve them better.

In addition, you probably are aware of cybercrime and that nefarious hackers frequently target payment systems. You’ve done all you can to make sure your customers’ data is secure, even adhering to payment card industry data security standards or PCI DSS and other processing protocols such as the European Union’s general data protection regulation or GDPR.

While it’s a smart move to be PCI and GDPR compliant, that does not fully guarantee your hotel data is safe from hackers.

There is more you can do.

If you think the threat is just too big to handle, know this: A data breach at your business is probable and it will cost you a lot of money.

A new IBM report notes the average cost of a data breach in a U.S. business is more than $8 million. Most of the cost is the result of lost business, meaning travelers stop coming to your hotel because they don’t trust the security of the technology.

The bigger the loss of data and the longer the breach goes undetected, the more it will cost you.

In this episode, Lodging Leaders explores the topic of cyber security and what steps you can take to protect your business information.

Co-host Judy Maxwell attended the HFTP’s 2019 Annual Convention in Orlando, Florida, last month. She covered presentations on cyber security and interviewed the presenters.

Included in this report are Ron Hardin, director of information technology at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort; Paul West, a risk management and technical adviser at GapSpot!; Jen Stone, senior security analyst with SecurityMetrics; and Scott Boren of Boren & Associates, a compliance auditor.

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