Why Is Cybersecurity Important in the Hospitality Industry?

Can you imagine the implications of data breaches that leak guests’ financial information in a hotel? While it sounds unbelievable, cybersecurity threats are quite common in the hospitality industry. 

According to statistics, the hospitality industry is ranked third behind the finance and retail industries as a target for cybercriminals. In 2018, about 514 million hotel records were stolen globally, according to a report from Cybersmart. That doesn’t even include the major Marriott data breach.

Cyberattacks in hospitality happen because hotels are often seen as easy targets. A recent study into hacker forums shows that hospitality chain Marriott was mentioned as part of the 28% of easy targets. Unfortunately, what’s worse, 70% of hotel guests believe that hospitality businesses don’t invest in adequate cybersecurity.

Why Is Cybersecurity Important in Hotels?

Cybersecurity threats are malicious acts, usually seeking to steal or damage data for one reason or another. Meanwhile, the entire concept of hospitality revolves around customers and keeping them happy.

It also involves dealing with vast amounts of personal information collected through the reservation system or online booking software. With hotels being data treasure troves, cybersecurity is critical. 

The most common forms of cyber-attacks include:

  • Computer viruses
  • Malware
  • Data breaches
  • DoS (Denial of Service) attacks

In hospitality, the process often begins with compromised credit or debit card details during a hotel stay. This threat weakens the hospitality industry, as online bookings and other payments are usually made via credit cards. Furthermore, they can be hacked through physical card readers and virtually when customers input payment details on websites.

What Can Be Done To Improve Cybersecurity in the Hospitality Industry?

Considering the severity and frequency of cyberattacks in the hospitality industry, you need to improve your business’s cybersecurity. The goal is to build full-scale protection to minimize the vulnerability of your business to cyberattacks. In addition, you need a plan for handling worst-case scenarios.

Two-thirds of data breaches are attacks on corporate servers that store guest information and integrate with on-site property management systems. Hence, it would be best if you considered the following tips to prevent cyberattacks:

Introduce Full-Scale Protection

As a hotel owner, you need to provide full-scale protection. On the technical side, it includes setting up firewalls to protect the hotel management software from data breaches. 

You also need to secure weak points vulnerable to external attacks, like point-of-sale terminals and the reservation system. Therefore, being vigilant and covering your bases reduces the chances of cyberattacks.

Cybersecurity Training for Employees

If your staff cannot recognize security threats, they are unlikely to avoid or report them. For example, the 2019 State of IT Security Survey found that 30% of staff don’t understand malware or phishing. That’s why email scams are common in the hospitality industry. As a hotel owner, you need to educate employees about phishing since they are the main entry point for phishers.

Protect Customer Data

One of the most significant risks of cyberattacks for hoteliers is hacking surrounding guest information. Hence, network security is paramount for the success of restaurants and hotels. In addition, cybercriminals are always trying to steal identities and credit card data. That’s why it is essential to have a robust property management system to keep your information secure.


If you want to ensure a fantastic experience for your customers, you can rely on  InnQuest’s property management software. Some software solutions offered by InnQuest include channel management, property management, and cloud PMS.

For more information on our solutions, contact us at 1 813 288-4900 or via email: sales@innquest.com