Is guest information safe when they log on the internet service provided by the hotel? All fingers point to the direction that much more could be done to secure guest information. Hard to believe, but some hotels still do not use Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) which requires a password to get on to the network and this should without doubt be a required minimum standard. Internet security should be a top priority of hotel management!

Josh Ogle, Erica L. Wagner and Mark P. Talbert at Cornell University conducted a hotel study titled ‘Hotel Network Security: A Study of Computer Networks in US Hotels’. It analyzed the online security of 147 US hotels and found that majority of hotels are ill prepared to protect their guests from internet security problems. In some cases helpful hotel employees helped them get past the ‘authentication’ barrier. Out of 39 hotels that offered WI-FI connections, only 6 used encryptions to protect the system. The study concludes that the guest data transmissions are at risk when they use a hotel network.

Recently a hacker was successful in bypassing Best Western’s reservation security system and successfully placed a Trojan Virus that collected and stored user names and password of users. The Best Western reservation system is used by over 4000 hotels in 80 countries. The information collected was then sold to international internet criminals. Best Western took immediate steps to rectify the situation. To read the full story published in the Sunday Herald please click here. The ISO27K provide quality assurance standards on information security management systems and can be used by hotels as a benchmark.

Organized cyber crime is on the rise, CBC recently aired Web Warriors a glimpse into the world’s newest and most vulnerable frontier – cyberspace.

To watch the full documentary, please click here