Bandwidth – Editor’s Note
Check out our new video that we recently produced – BeyondTV: A New Age! It demonstrates, perfectly, all the capabilities and the depth of experience that our BeyondTV System delivers.
By now you have heard much about IOT, otherwise known as the Internet of Things. As a member of the hospitality industry, just how will that affect you? We live in a world that is growing more and more connected every day. The reality of IOT has yet to be felt but like the proverbial 800 pound gorilla, it is getting ready to pounce. In this issue, we provide you with a glimpse of just what that might entail. Our Scoop section is dedicated to IOT. We have posted a variety of articles on IOT in the hospitality industry which you might find of interest.
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There has been much talk regarding the security, or lack thereof, in hospitality Wi-Fi networks. In this issue we provide you with some insight on how to keep your network secure. In the second part of this article we provide a simple primer for your guests regarding Wi-Fi security.
We close with some fun vids we have curated just for you.
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In the last few weeks, there have been article after article regarding security breaches, data hacks, etc. etc. These articles have made it seem as if there was not a safe Wi-Fi network in the world. As a hotelier, I am sure it could at the very least make you anxious. It is not as if there are no problems in the industry, but there are also solutions. Credentialed installers are going to do their utmost to keep you and your guests secure. I spoke with our own Trevor Dowswell, Installations Manager for HIS, and he provided us with a few points to help maintain a secure Wi-Fi network.
First of all, any device that stores guest data should be PCI compliant, i.e. Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance requires an adherence to a specific set of security standards developed to protect card information during and after a financial transaction. Obviously, this is a must and cannot be overlooked.
Next is a bit of a no-brainer, but you would be surprised at how often these points are ignored or simply forgotten about. By all means, make certain that all firmware/software security patches are kept up-to-date on all your equipment. This includes all computers, laptops, servers, etc.
It is vital that access to all network devices are done through encrypted communication methods. Do not leave your network exposed to the bad guys. Make sure that each person who has access to the network devices does so with unique credentials.
When it comes to the security settings specific to guests, the networking vendor should provide complete client isolation. This must be setup to block clients from communicating directly with each other. Additionally, network abuse detection and prevention settings should be in place to protect the network as a whole.
Ask your network vendor if they have malware, virus, Trojan and other such detection and prevention services available, and consider implementing this on each guest network.
Lastly, even with every security measure in place, a hotel network is a public access network, and guests should be advised to keep this in mind and follow the appropriate security protocols with their devices.
One more thing – hackers don’t need a phishing license to attack your network. By all means, educate your staff on potential security break-ins. Your employees are the first and last bastion of security in your network so teach them what to expect. Turn them into human firewalls and keep the bad guys out. Organizations like Knowbe4 provide excellent security training programs for organizations of all sizes.
Guest Security Best Practices
Before you know it, one of your guests are bound to run afoul of the bad guys and you will kick yourself that you didn’t just give them some guidelines. You can even print these out and leave IN your hotel rooms.
Before you go:
Before you start your trip there are a few things that you should do to start your personal security program.
- Back up all your files: who knows what may happen when you are on the road. Computers get stolen, hacked or damaged. I keep all my data on a flash drive that is always with me. Small and compact, your data stays safe and sound!
- Remove sensitive data: There is no reason why you need to carry around your personal financial information, etc. Keep it safe and at home, preferably locked up in your safe.
- Install strong passwords: Whether at home or on the road, always create and use strong passwords.
- Ensure antivirus software is up-to-date, and while you are at it make sure, all your software programs and patches are also up-to-date!
- File Sharing: Make sure it is turned off in your computer.
On the road:
While you are traveling, be extra vigilant, not only in your public use of your computer but also keeping track of your gear. Criminals look for folks who are not paying attention. So keep your eyes and ears open and don’t leave your gear unattended. It is not just the electronic hackers that you have to worry about but the eyes and ears of the bad guys.
- Virtual Private Network: It is highly recommended that you use a VPN to protect your communication. They basically use the same technology as banks and credit card companies. Everything you send from emails and messages to financial transactions are secured. We like a company called PRIVATE WiFi
- Privacy screen: They just might be looking over your shoulder as you login and enter that password. You just might want to consider using a privacy screen on your laptop.
- Device security: Your smartphone, tablet and other devices can be vulnerable to malware as well as your laptop. With GPS, you and your equipment can readily be located. So make sure you are using security applications on them as well.
- Legit Wi-Fi Hotspots: Before you login to your hotel’s network get the actual name of the network. The bad guys often use scam spots to lure you into their demonic den.
- Public places: Be safe when using public equipment and services (e.g., phones, computers and fax machines) in places like Internet cafes, coffee shops, book stores, travel agencies, clinics, libraries, airports, and hotels. It is probably not a good idea to access your bank account and other sensitive communications.
- Change passwords: When you get home it is a good idea to change your passwords, just to be on the safe side, especially if you have been traveling out of the country.
And now we come to the hotel room of tomorrow. The Internet of Things has finally reached hospitality shores. These ideas have been envisioned by hoteliers for decades, if not centuries. Let’s take a look, shall we, at what the future holds in store for us.
Our guest, let’s call her Judy, arrives for a conference in your hotel. She is smartly dressed, very professional. She confirms her arrival from her smartphone as the taxi drops her off. The doorman, immediately alerted, addresses her by name and welcomes her to the hotel. He helps her with her luggage. The bellman is there to escort her to the room. She is of course, already checked in and her phone unlocks the door. Judy clicks gratuity for the bellman on her app and it is automatically put on her account.
Based on Judy’s likes and dislikes, the room is outfitted for her arrival. She loves organic fruit and a bowl is on the table with information on the local farms that grew the produce. A smile comes to her lips. She could learn to live like this all the time. She goes to the mini-fridge which is stocked with her favorite mineral water and wines she appreciates. A lone bottle of an unknown winery is there and she, at first, is perplexed. Then Judy spots the note that she just might appreciate the fruity texture of this vintage. “How thoughtful,” she thinks.
She picks up the BeyondTV remote and as she unpacks listens to her favorite Pandora station. A message appears on the television screen with recommendations for dinner or as an alternative would she like room service. Judy ponders this for a moment and decides she would much rather wander around the hotel grounds and eat at one of the restaurants. She clicks on restaurants and finds one with an outdoor patio and makes a reservation.
Judy freshens up and leaves the room. The TV automatically shuts off and the lights dim. As she is strolling about, she gets a message on her phone from the hotel spa wondering if she would like a massage after her long trip. Judy sighs pleasantly, clicks yes. “I could get used to living like this,” she smiles.
This is just a small vision and I am sure you can add to this vision. I would love to hear your thoughts right to firstname.lastname@example.org
In 2013 there was approximately 1 device connected to the internet per person on earth. By 2020, we expect this to increase to around 9 devices connected to the internet, per person (with a population of 8 billion in 2020). Presently, 80 ‘things’ connect to the internet every second but by 2020 we will see this rise to more than 250 ‘things’ connecting to the internet every second! Read More>
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IoT to Enhance Customer Experience in Hospitality and Travel
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The Ambient Hotel: IOT and Hospitality
If Things Could Speak
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The Internet of Everything’s Impact on HospitalityWhen a person is considered tech-savvy and “always-connected” in their day-to-day life, these expectations don’t change when they stay in a hotel. In fact, this new “connected hotel guest” actually expects the same mobile experience at hotels that they receive at home or work. Read More>
Hospitality Industry: Connecting the Unconnected, The Internet of Everything
What is meant by the Internet of everything? Cisco Systems, a leading technology and environmental sustainability firm, defines the term as “bringing together people, process, data, and things to make networked connections more relevant.” The company believes that by joining these four elements there is a more highly valued process created that enables the transformation of captured data into useful information. For the hospitality industry this means the creation of new business capabilities, richer guest experiences and unprecedented industry opportunity. Read More>
Jason Hope Thinks Hospitality Industry Needs Internet Of Things, Too
Entrepreneur and philanthropist Jason Hope may well be correct in his assertion that the hospitality industry needs the Internet of Things, but those who are not aware of the latest developments in interconnected technology likely have no idea what he’s talking about, let alone what it could mean for the industry. Read More>
Don’t you just love flash mobs? I know I do, they are always so uplifting and make people happy. Here are a couple of new ones. If you have a favorite let me know email@example.com
– Crazy Uptown Funk flash mob in Sydney – Amazing Uptown Funk flash mob on the iconic Sydney harbor foreshore: check out the funky moves!
Les Misérables Flash Mob – Orlando Shakespeare Theater – Les Misérables flash mob at The Mall of Millennia, Orlando, FL
Betty White’s 93rd Birthday Flash Mob – Could not resist this one – such joy! Every day on set, Betty is greeted by her assistant with a hula – today’s hula dance was a very special surprise in honor of her 93rd birthday!