With so many data breaches impacting so many different hotel chains, we have to wonder if there are better ways for hotels to prevent these kinds of attacks.
Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants is the latest hotel chain having to investigate a credit card data breach at its properties. On July 26, the company announced it was “recently made aware of a report of unauthorized charges occurring on cards that were previously used legitimately at Kimpton properties.”
In a statement published on its site, the company said, “As soon as we learned of this, we immediately launched an investigation and engaged a leading security firm to provide us with support.”
It added, “We are committed to swiftly resolving this matter. In the meantime and in line with best practice, we recommend that individuals closely monitor their payment card account statements. If there are unauthorized charges, individuals should immediately notify their bank. Payment card network rules generally state that cardholders are not responsible for such charges.”
During a second quarter earnings call held on August 2 by Kimpton’s parent company, Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG), IHG CEO Richard Solomons was asked about the charges as they were noted in the company’s recent U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing, and whether they would have a significant impact on the company’s financial reporting.
Solomons said, “It’s something we just noted. The statement is the statement. There’s nothing to add.”
The SEC filing said: “On 26 July 2016, Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants announced that it had been made aware of a report of unauthorised charges occurring on payment cards that were previously used legitimately at Kimpton properties. Due to the recent discovery of these occurrences and the investigation process being in the early stages, it is not practicable to make a reliable estimate of the possible financial effect on the Group at this time.”
Kimpton hasn’t yet provided any information about how many customer have been affected by the data breach or which properties where their information may have been compromised.
It also isn’t alone in having to deal with a customer data security breach of this nature this year. In July, Omni Hotels & Resorts also announced a data breach. Trump Hotels and the Hard Rock Hotel Las Vegas have both suffered from two data breaches within the past year as well, and last fall, Hilton Hotels launched an investigation into a data breach. In all of these cases, customer credit/debit card information may have been compromised.
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Photo credit: The lobby of Kimpton's Mason & Rook Hotel in Washington, D.C. The company recently announced it had become aware of a credit card data breach. Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants