As we enter the New Year, it is wonderful to see how well our industry is doing. However, with that success comes some problems, notably security. The hospitality industry is one of the most attacked in the world. There are a number of reasons for this, antiquated equipment, inadequate or untrained staff and the sheer quantity and turnover of users, i.e. your guests.
Fortunately, there are some solutions. In this issue of Connected, we will let you know what we are doing to protect your network. This is a must read. Additionally, our Scoop section will provide you with more info on how to maintain security for you and your guests.
We’ve streamlined Connected! We know how busy you are so it is a much faster read but with the same important info to help you.
If you have any questions about your network security, in-room entertainment or your wireless network give us a shout!
Security Spotlight: FUSION Serves as a Vital Line of Defense
Our objective continues to be to strengthen the ability of our hospitality clients in order to protect sensitive online data. This is made possible thanks to our secure and reliable FUSION Gateway solution. FUSION is a proprietary and proven IP and voice network gateway that continuously evolves its encryption and other security protocols, in order to fend off the latest threats to online security.
As news of online security vulnerabilities and data theft continues to resurface repeatedly throughout the hospitality industry, FUSION serves as a vital line of defense against the increasing scale of network attacks. Engineered by programmers with decades of experience in the security industry, FUSION is unique in its capabilities to shield customers during the most sensitive of data transactions, such as when guests provide personal credit or banking data to hotels. For instance, FUSION receives continuous software updates to ensure that every aspect of the system is as up-to-date on the latest known vulnerabilities as possible. This is accomplished by the platform’s ability to analyze which weaknesses have been exploited by hackers in the past, and revising its programming accordingly. FUSION also goes a step further by anticipating potential factors and vulnerabilities that may lead to a future online attack, and taking steps to prevent them.
The FUSION Gateway really raises the bar on what hotels should demand and expect from their IP and voice network providers, when it comes to effective security,” said Trevor Dowswell, Chief Technology Officer at Hotel Internet Services. “Not only is the solution PCI compliant, it is an application layer, transport layer and IP layer firewall, allowing finite control of every packet and its destination. Combined with exact, and security conscious, installation standards, the FUSION Gateway was designed to ensure that each network segment is strictly segregated and off-limits to all other traffic. For example, hotels that use our solution are confident that administrative data is kept completely separate from guest data traffic, and therefore the risk of sensitive information being unintentionally shared or falling into the wrong hands is eliminated.”
As a result of not relying on open-source SSL, FUSION customers were fortunately immune to any negative fallout from 2014’s catastrophic “Heartbleed” security bug that resulted in consumer data being breached at companies around the world. FUSION is also specifically formulated to withstand commonly used hacking tactics, such as a “brute force dictionary attack.” This is a scenario where hackers use software to input a multitude of different word combinations to penetrate the security of a system. Under such an attack, FUSION can resist an onslaught of 100,000 word attempts an hour for an entire year. It is also invulnerable to “denial of service” attacks, where hackers initiate so many requests for service that a system cannot recognize legitimate requests, and subsequently fails.
“For an added layer of security, FUSION can also create a private network for each hotel guest, if desired,” said Rafael van den Berg, Operations Director at Hotel Internet Services. “This feature allows guests to log in, enter passwords and use personal devices with complete peace-of-mind.”
Also serving to enhance convenience, FUSION’s “at home experience” feature provides guests with a virtual network that allows them to securely access their devices from anywhere throughout a property. Guests visiting the pool area for instance, are able to print documents remotely by sending a request to their printer located in their guestroom and connected to their personal network. A guest that inadvertently left a device behind in their guestroom may also be able to retrieve vital documents by initiating a secure file transfer. The service can also shield properties from unauthorized guest activities, such as illegal downloads. Instead of running the risk of having online access turned off by an Internet Service Provider, hoteliers can automatically prevent illegal activity in a manner that is both highly effective and considerate of guest privacy.
Editor’s Note: Our friends at Malwarebytes have been very busy. These posts cover unwanted programs aka PUPs and Ransomware. Ransomware is one of the biggest dangers out there. How would you like your network and data held ransom for an unmentionable fee? Check out what Malwarebytes is doing about it
How to Avoid Potentially Unwanted Programs
If you’ve ever downloaded software onto your computer, chances are you’ve unknowingly cluttered your machine with PUPs. Here’s what you need to know about these sneaky programs… Here are a few things that PUPs can do: slow your computer down, display numerous annoying ads, add toolbars that steal space on the browser and some collect private information. . Read More from Malwarebytes >
Introducing the Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware Beta
For the last four years, ransomware has evolved into one of the biggest threats to cyber security that I’ve seen in a long time. Names like CryptoLocker, CryptoWall, and CTBLocker keep average computer users and IT security Jedis alike up at night. For good reason: Ransomware is cunning, effective, and proliferating, and the cyber security industry hasn’t really had an answer for it. But we’ve got one now. Read More from Malwarebytes Labs >
Balancing Security, Aesthetics in Hotel Design
Hotel architects and designers try to weigh the needs for a secure property without turning the building into an unsightly and unwelcoming fortress. Part of making guests feel comfortable is maintaining their sense of security, and hotel designers must walk the thin line of creating a safe environment without sacrificing the property’s visual appeal. Read More from Hotel News Now >
Scam of the Week – Netflix For Free
Netflix’s popularity continues to grow fast, and they recently launched their streaming service globally. Obviously, that makes them a hacker target. At the moment, there are active malware and phishing campaigns targeting Netflix users. The operations are sophisticated, so it is likely this is the work of an Eastern European cybermafia.
How to Avoid Hackers that Target Hotels
I’ve reported on this before, but it’s time to check in again on hotels as targets for hackers. Cyber thieves love hotels—and not just the front desk. They target hotel spas, parking facilities, and anywhere there’s either Wi-Fi or the opportunity for a credit card transaction.
Read More from petergreenberg.com>
‘Darkhotel’ Fear Stalks Hospitality Industry: 5-Star Hotels Rope in Cyber Auditors to Curb Data Theft
Online content streaming services, such as Netflix and Hulu, have proven a challenge for cable and satellite companies’ business strategies, but one other area is facing the chopping block because of streaming content: video-on-demand in hotel rooms. As guests want faster Wi-Fi and more bandwidth during their stays to power their own content, the demand for in-room video-on-demand is going down, hoteliers said. Read More from Hotel News>
‘QWERTY’ and ’123456′ Top List of 2015′s (Worst) Passwords
For the first time last year, “1234567890,” “qwertyuiop” (top row of keys on a standard keyboard) and “welcome” landed spots on the list of the year’s most common passwords. Passwords are getting longer, but they’re not getting stronger. According to data from SplashData, a Los Gatos, Calif.-based company that makes password-management applications. These examples are longer than perennial favorites “1234,” “12345″ and “qwerty,” which still rank high despite users knowing better, but they add little complexity. Read More from The WSJ.D>
New York’s New Free Citywide Wi-Fi Will Be More Secure Than Hotel’s Network
The days when New York City children could stop in front of a payphone, point at its clunky handset and coin return slot and say “What’s this thing?” are drawing to a close. Starting this month, the city will be replacing thousands of pay phones with free Wi-Fi hotspots as part of its LinkNYC project. By July, there should be 500 hot spots scattered throughout the five boroughs, a number that will eventually increase to more than 7,500. Not only will the Wi-Fi speeds be up to 100 times faster than your average wireless carrier, they’re also more secure than the Wi-Fi you’re borrowing from one of the city’s 8 billion (a rough estimate) Starbucks locations. Read More from Road Warrior Voices >
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