Cybersecurity improvements always were a must in the IT field. In recent years more and more businesses outside high-tech adopt cybersecurity enhancements. It’s not a surprise, since any individual or an organization that uses Internet access can be a target of hacking attacks. The hospitality sector can suffer greatly from cyber attacks due to gathering a lot of personal info including credit details, phones, addresses, and passport data. Personal info theft can turn into a disaster and spoil the company’s reputation as it happened with Mariott and other companies throughout recent history.

Despite the fact that building a website to promote your property or transfer services can be relatively easy if you think that a simple WordPress blog setup may be sufficient, it’s not always the case. Sometimes, the default plugins cannot do all the security tricks for you. We don’t say they are not required, still, there are some more steps to follow.

So here are 5 essential tips that will help companies operating in the Hospitality sector to protect their privacy:

Educate your staff

The first and foremost is ensuring the proper training as it mitigates human errors such as opening email attachments from unknown sources, falling victim to social engineer by providing sensitive clients’ or internal info, or downloading malware to work computers by mistake. Various cybersecurity courses can help your employees raise their security awareness. You can also invest in live training programs. The most important thing here is to conduct regular checks on personnel to see how they cope with the material. 

Install SSL certificate for your website

SSL certificates, more commonly known as green padlocks and https:// protocol for your website are responsible for creating an encrypted connection between the server and the client browser to make it impossible to steal the traffic for attackers. It’s especially useful for websites that contain user accounts, payment transactions, or data transfer. A lot of free solutions such as a free certificate Let’s Encrypt or the one provided with Cloudflare CDN will protect your websites from session hijacking.

Beware of spoofing attacks and phishing

Image source: Varonis

It’s a common scam practice to send fraudulent emails as if they are coming from a legitimate source using spoofing techniques to forge the email headers. Usually, it pairs with phishing the practice of creating websites that look similar to the original ones. They try to steal personal info asking to re-enter credit card numbers or CVV, perform additional payment or log in to your banking account to use these details in malicious intentions. To avoid spoofing, make sure to take care of proper email authentication (this may include SPF and DKIM records that are created for your domain name. The first one specifies from what sources the email can be sent and if the source is not permitted, the email will be rejected. The second one adds the digital signature to the email to prove it was sent from a trusted source). In addition, inform the users about your policies on the website and during initial contacts so that they know that you will never re-ask for such things.

Use VPN for internal resources

Internal resources are often targets for DDoS attacks aimed to bring your website down and cause service interruption. In addition, resources like CRM, booking reservation systems, or customer assistance portals contain client databases or any other sensitive info that is a con man’s sweet spot. That’s why it’s extremely important to protect them by allowing access to them solely via a VPN. Even if a human mistake happens and the link to internal resource is shared with a third party, or login credentials are stolen, if the network access is restricted, these actions will not result in a successful breach. Curious to understand how VPNs work? Click here to learn more.

Introduce Security Laws compliance measures

With the adoption of GDPR and CCPA, all the companies serving users from the areas covered in this law are forced to inform users what personal information is stored by the company and delete it per user request. When any leakage occurs it leads to hefty fines which add more complexity to the web security management, thus you need to introduce the mechanisms that would automate these processes to avoid legal troubles including incident response management, vulnerability tracking, data loss prevention, and system monitoring. Various tools covering these requirements exist on the market and they can help to cope with the security protection laws and protect the personal information of your clients that can facilitate this process.

Apart from the mentioned items, investing in a reliable antivirus and firewall is essential as well as regular backups to ensure the proper protection levels. And for sure, don’t forget about the regular security audit and internal passwords rotation.

Stay safe providing your customers with an exceptional level of service!

Written By – Stewart Dunlop- Content Marketer, Udemy

Stewart Dunlop looks after content marketing at Udemy and has a passion for writing articles that users will want to read. In his free time, he likes to play football and read Stephen King.