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How Hotel Sales Software Can Strengthen Your Online Security

Posted on 17 July 2023

Venue Management


With significant financial transactions and extensive databases of personal, sensitive data, hotels and hospitality venues are a treasure trove for valuable customer information. Consequently, it comes as no surprise that the hospitality industry is one of the top sectors most susceptible to credit card breaches.

Trustwave SpiderLabs' study of global data breaches revealed that hospitality industries are particularly vulnerable to attack. In 218 investigations spanning 24 countries, 38% were in hotels – and almost all involved stolen credit card information. While hotels and hospitality venues must implement robust cybersecurity practices to ensure data remains secure and protected from malicious attacks or unauthorised access, it’s not always easy to know where to start. Keeping up to date with the latest types of attacks is also challenging, as cybersecurity threats become increasingly sophisticated.

Keep reading to find out how hotels can implement cybersecurity practices to help protect against malicious attacks and safeguard sensitive customer information with effective hotel sales software.

Data Security in Hotels and Hospitality Venues


The Ponemon Institute's study on data breaches in the hotel industry found that the average time it takes for a hotel to detect a breach is 200 days. This means that, on average, a hotel may not know it has suffered a breach for nearly seven months. This prolonged detection time can significantly damage a hotel's reputation and financial losses.


The same study found that the average time to contain a breach in the hotel industry is 70 days. This means that, on average, it takes a hotel 70 days from the time it detects a breach to stop it from spreading. This is an important metric, as the longer a breach persists, the more damage it can do to hotels and their customers. Strong hotel sales software can assist in managing and mitigating these risks.

The study highlights the importance of having strong cybersecurity practices in place and conducting regular security audits. This helps detect and respond to data breaches as quickly as possible, minimising the impact and protecting both the hotel and its customers.


Most Common Cyberattacks for Hotels and Hospitality Venues


Across the hotel and wider hospitality industry, Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks are on the rise. This attack involves flooding networks or services with vast amounts of data traffic to disrupt normal operations. Victims may even face extortion demands after a DDoS attack, making these cyber breaches even more serious. Understanding potential vulnerabilities and strengthening strategies against malicious incidents can help protect your business from costly disruptions and online security risks. Hotel sales software with integrated DDoS protection can be a valuable asset.



To protect against DDoS attacks, hotels can invest in technologies and cybersecurity practices that recognise legitimate traffic spikes, reject bad traffic, and keep systems updated with the latest security patches. Hotel sales software that includes these features can enhance overall security.



Hotels are also increasingly vulnerable to DarkHotel hacking – a highly targeted form of cyberattack that attempts to gain access to sensitive information from key business travellers. The attack is hard for hotels alone to detect and prevent; however, an understanding of the threat can enable both hotels and their guests to take steps toward better protection. With DarkHotel hacking, attackers typically exploit hotel Wi-Fi networks by monitoring guests' travel plans and then utilise forged digital certificates in an effort to convince victims that ‘software updates’ are available when they actually contain malicious code.



To protect against DarkHotel hacking, hotels are advised to encourage guests to use a virtual private network (VPN) when conducting business that exchanges any personal data and also to be vigilant about double-checking any pop-ups (which should be downloaded directly from a vendor's website). 


Spear-phishing is a targeted attack that uses the allure of familiarity to gain access. Cybercriminals research their targets and construct malicious emails appearing from those within victims' networks, tempting them with links or attachments. If they proceed, attackers can exploit user information while skulking in undetected - it's an insidious approach relying on social engineering tricks that take advantage of our natural inclination to trust what we already know.



Protecting your systems requires constant vigilance against this kind of threat; understanding the risks posed by these digital spears makes your venue better equipped for proactively defending itself.

How Hotel Sales Software Can Help Protect Against Cyberattacks

Hotel sales software plays a vital role in bolstering cybersecurity within the hospitality industry. Here's how it serves as a shield against cyber threats:

→ Data Encryption: Hotel sales software utilises strong encryption methods to securely transmit and store sensitive information, effectively preventing unauthorised access to customer data.

→ Real-time Monitoring: Through continuous monitoring of transactions and network activities, hotel sales software can quickly detect and respond to suspicious behaviours, mitigating the risk of breaches.

→ Access Controls: By enforcing stringent access controls, hotel sales software ensures only authorised personnel can access sensitive data. Multi-factor authentication further enhances security measures.

→ Regular Updates and Patches: Top hotel sales software providers consistently update their systems to address new security vulnerabilities, staying ahead of emerging threats and safeguarding against potential breaches.

→ Compliance with Security Standards: Hotel sales software that adheres to industry security standards like PCI DSS ensures your venue meets the necessary protocols for protecting financial transactions and personal data.


Most Effective Venue Cybersecurity Practices to Implement

Verification & Review Processes

Security breaches at point-of-sale systems continue to increase dramatically, with 91% of security compromises being attributed mostly to Card Not Present (CNP) fraud. To protect against CNP crime, hotels can stick to a few consistent practices, including:

• Adequate Verification

Fraudsters may contact hotels wanting immediate verification and confirmation of accommodation. Hoteliers need to take time and adequately verify identification, including credit card, passport, and other relevant documentation.

Reviewing First-Time Purchases

Large, first-time transactions can sometimes be a sign of fraudulent activity. If hoteliers have suspicions about a transaction, it is encouraged to make contact to verify legitimacy and confirm identification. 

•  Being Aware of Inconsistencies

When a guest’s billing and shipping addresses don’t match, it can be a red flag. This is especially true in the travel industry, where contactless transactions are on the rise. Hotel sales software can help manage these verification processes more efficiently.


Data Protection Tips for Hotels

Use safeguarded management systems

Make sure your chosen systems (such as your venue management software) comply with security standards set by the PCI Security Standards Council. 

Icons-94Protect point-of-sale systems

Invest in the most up-to-date cybersecurity solutions. Ensure encryption and anti-virus software are on all devices, and use firewalls to guard against point-of-sale threats. Additional measures include:

  • Training all employees on best cybersecurity practices and risks
  • Hiring specific data security experts
  • Using end-to-end encryption
  • Installing and updating antivirus software

Icons-99Avoid shared email accounts

If a password to a shared account is accidentally exposed, the risk of damage to a hotel becomes far greater than if a single account has been compromised. 

Icons-101Use multi-factor authentication

Multi-factor authentication adds a layer of cybersecurity to accounts even if passwords are discovered. It requests extra information that only a singular user can provide, such as a code sent to a mobile device or a personal answer to a question.


Protect Your Venue and Your Guests 

By implementing these cybersecurity practices, your venue can ensure it’s doing everything it can to protect against online threats. 

These efforts not only protect customers' data but also provide a sense of safety and security that will make any hotel or hospitality venue an attractive option in the eyes of potential visitors.


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