High alert: The threat of cyber-attacks on hospitality
Cyber-attacks have become a common part of online culture – with estimates showing that around 800,000 people are hacked every year.
Hospitality is no stranger to these attacks, having recently been identified as one of the worst suffering industries for cyber-attacks in the UK. A cyber-attack can lead to financial losses and reputational damage for any business – so cyber security training should be high on the priorities list.
A recent survey of 2,200 respondents from 16 different industries found that 97% of respondents in the hospitality industry are not actively providing employee training in cyber security – therefore making them more vulnerable to future attacks.
The reason for a lack of training in cyber security in the industry could be attributed to the nature of the job being more ‘hands on’ than desk-based – but employers need to do better to protect both their staff and customers.
With almost half of all UK businesses reportedly having experienced a cyber-attack, it’s clear that the hospitality industry needs to be on high alert – especially due to the large amounts of Personally Identifiable Information it deals with on a daily basis. This kind of data should be protected by hospitality businesses, so that customers can feel safe when staying at hotels and other hospitality venues.
What are the most common cyber-attacks on the hospitality industry?
Employers need to be aware of the most common types of cyber-attacks, so they put preventative measures in place. One of the most common types of attack is malware injection which occurs when malicious software is injected into a hotel or restaurant’s computer system. This can then be used to steal customer data or take control of the system.
Another attack is phishing, which involves sending fraudulent emails to hotel or restaurant employees to get them to disclose sensitive information like passwords or credit card numbers. This can be a big threat to customers as their information could be vulnerable.
There is also denial-of-service (DoS) attacks. These attacks occur when hackers flood a hotel or restaurant’s computer system with requests, overwhelming it and causing it to crash. This can have a huge impact on how a hospitality business runs, as they use computer systems to manage bookings and enquiries.
How can these attacks be prevented?
To prevent cyber-attacks, hospitality businesses need to ensure that only authorised personnel have access to computer systems which can prevent unauthorised individuals from installing malware under false claims.
Additionally, computer systems should be kept updated with the latest security patches which will be able to close off potential entry points for attackers.
Educating employees about cyber security risks and best practices is also a smart way to reduce mistakes and make it less likely for attacks to happen.
Have you experienced a cyber-attack in the hospitality industry? Or are you taking measures to prevent this from happening to your business? If so, we’d love to hear from you. And if you’re looking to hire a kitchen in the heart of Birmingham, reach out to us today!