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Hotels Need To Learn From Target Data Hacking Incident

Excerpt from Hotel News Resource

Jan 16, 2014 12:30 pm

Skift Take

The author offers some sensible ways for hotels to beef up their security in the wake of the data breaches at Target and Nieman Marcus. The article, however, leaves out an important element: Be transparent with your guests as quickly as possible. That is not something that Target did for its customers.

— Dennis Schaal

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The massive security breach of Target’s customer data may affect more than 110 million Americans — potentially about 1 in 3 persons living in the United States. Followed in quick succession by another 40 million customers of Neiman Marcus (and more disclosures expected soon from other retailers), it is time for us in the hotel industry to look at our own policies and procedures, and to think about how we should respond to these malicious attacks.

Hotels are obvious targets for identity and financial theft for many reasons. Hotels transact business through credit cards, and those credit cards are kept on file and can be accessed multiple times during a guest’s stay. The possibility that a credit card charge will be recorded occurs with each night’s room charge, room service, bar or restaurant bill, and spa charge. Every charge is another opportunity for an identity thief to access the information using sophisticated computer hacks and other malicious software, generally without the hotel’s knowledge.

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