Restaurants, hotels, spas, event venues, and tourist attractions—they all serve a mostly random subset of the general public daily. In this challenging paradigm, the slightest IT problem can easily become a major disruption that leads to a horrible customer experience and negative reviews. Finding the right IT support can help hospitality businesses prevent such embarrassing blunders.
We read plenty of horror stories about breaches, lost data, poor network performance, and more that impact businesses and their customers, most of which could have been prevented through better systems architecture and information management practices. While it’s easy focus on all that goes wrong, let’s take a look at what many in the hospitality industry are doing right to win at IT services.
Securing All Customer Data
Nothing hurts a business more than when they put their customers’ personal data at risk. While we all collectively cringed when news broke about the Marriott breach, that definitely wasn’t the first or the last. In fact, Hotel News Now lists major breaches going back as far as 2008.
What if such incidents could be prevented from affecting your business? A qualified IT provider ensures networks, devices, user accounts, and even third-party resources are secured appropriately to protect your customers’ data.
Testing For Vulnerabilities
One way we see the hospitality industry winning at IT services is by investing in penetration and vulnerability testing. While we always encourage hospitality companies to focus on antivirus, firewalls, user permissions, and other basic security measures, we also highly recommend taking a closer look at an organization’s systems from an attacker’s point of view.
While the average person might see a system as secure just by updating the antivirus, we know attackers will dig much deeper. For the hospitality industry, this can spell disaster. Personally, we were shocked to find out that in 2017, 74% of hotels didn’t have any real breach protections in place. They didn’t even properly encrypt credit card data. These are things that attackers can find and exploit quickly.
Of course, it’s not always just about customer data. In fact, one major breach affecting multiple hotel chains worldwide involved security audit logs. This could give an attacker intimate knowledge about security protocols and how to easily bypass them without triggering any suspicions.
Vulnerability assessments and penetration testing look for flaws and vulnerabilities that are easily missed. Finding them before attackers do is key to staying one step ahead.
Preparing For A Quick Recovery
Threats are constantly evolving, which is why the right IT support for hospitality companies is crucial. Sometimes, all the protections a business has in place can still be compromised by a zero-day threat. However, if the business is prepared, they can shut down the threat quickly, restore systems from a recent backup, and drastically minimize the overall impact.
We know that things happen. It could even be something as simple as clicking a malicious link in a very convincing phishing email. Having a backup and disaster recovery plan in place helps the hospitality industry overcome the tragedy of a security and hardware failure incident.
Keeping Systems Up To Speed
Sometimes, we wish updates and upgrades were free. Maybe then, more companies across all industries would keep all their hardware and software up to date. Those in the hospitality industry that invest the time and money in updating and upgrading to more secure systems can block numerous types of IT threats every single day.
Of course, it’s not just about threats either. Using outdated systems and equipment can lead to lost records (such as reservations), long wait times, and system crashes. No one enjoys that experience!
While technical defenses are effective, the best IT support for hospitality organizations includes employee training. The best systems and security mean nothing if employees don’t know how to use them properly. We can help with this! From teaching employees the value of a stronger password to preventing the knee-jerk reaction of opening every single email, we know that employees can serve as a strong first line of defense. Plus, the better they understand upgraded systems, the better service they can provide to customers and guests.
Ensuring Customers Stay Connected
How many customers stay at a hotel or visit a restaurant without expecting Wi-Fi? Yet, if a business can’t provide a reliable connection, it can easily miss out on bookings and visits. It’s vital to monitor networks to ensure everything is running smoothly. Taking a proactive approach helps eliminate preventable negative reviews about poor Internet connections.
On top of this, we want to see the hospitality industry excel at not just providing a general connection, but secure connections to keep customers safe. While we focus on customer support for our hospitality customers, we want to help them provide better and safer support for their customers. Outsourcing custom IT support and services is how the hospitality industry truly wins.
Want to find out more about how the right IT support for hospitality businesses helps them win at IT? Contact us today to find out how we can help.