What You Need to Know About Ransomware and Your Hotel

August 28th, 2019 Lisa Livingston Cloud PMS, Hotel PMS

Did you know that ransomware attacks have increased over 97% in the past two years, and new businesses will fall victim to ransomware every 14 seconds in 2019 and every 11 seconds by 2021 (Phoenix NAP)? It’s no secret that ransomware attacks have become more prevalent and sophisticated over the years, but have you been keeping up with your security to block these nasty little attacks when they creep up on your hotel? The truth is, no hotel is immune to a ransomware attack. Most hoteliers believe that their properties are “too small” or they “don’t have anything that a hacker would want”; but this is a huge misconception. Just because independent hotels aren’t large corporations, your property still houses a great deal of data that hackers would love to get their hands on. 

Believe it or not, hotels are at risk for ransomware because oftentimes small hoteliers don’t have the time or resources to keep up with all the necessary patches or technology advancements. Ransomware is especially harmful because as it invades your network, it takes over your shares, folders, and ultimately affecting database applications after reboots. In fact, ransomware is not your run-of-the-mill computer virus. It infects your device through an email attachment or malicious link. Unlike other malware infections, once you have ransomware, there is nothing you can do but pay the ransom or completely restore your system using your back up files. According to Phoenix NAP Global IT Services 50% of cybersecurity professionals don’t believe that their organization is prepared to repel a ransomware attack. So just how can you prepare for a ransomware attack against your property?

Have a Plan 

It really doesn’t matter what type of cyber security risk you face; it could be ransomware, trojan virus, or malware, the results always end up the same. Hackers don’t discriminate against your business name or personnel; they want to ensure that your entire business falls prey to their schemes. So, it is your job as a hotelier to have a plan in place. Take your time when designing, implementing and testing your cyber threat defense and recovery plan. If necessary, update your plan regularly and always consult your IT professional should you require further assistance in any new technologies available to prevent cyber-attacks. 

Train Your Employees

While this may seem like such a simple step, it is critical when dealing with any cyber-attacks. Hotels owners and manager should train their employees to avoid opening suspicious emails or links inside emails as they may contain malware. Further, hotel employees should be instructed to not send sensitive information through unsecured emails, texts or other unsecured communications. 

Install Antivirus on All Devices

Hoteliers should always make sure that they have reliable antivirus and anti-malware software on all networks and devices, including all laptops, smartphones and servers to deter would be attackers from gaining access in the first place. The antivirus software you choose should be intuitive enough to detect new and upcoming threats as they are released into cyberspace. 

Wrapping Up

The truth is, you can’t operate your hotel without your PMS. In fact, your PMS and your PMS’ data is such a critical part of your hotel operations, taking these precautions will help you deflect a ransomware attack as long as you remain vigilant. Most times IT Professionals are called in to respond to security patches and software fixes, but another option is to move your PMS software to the cloud. Cloud-based applications are normally hosted in hyper secure sensitive environments which protect data, making it much less likely to lose access or data to a ransomware virus.

InnQuest hosts roomMaster Cloud using an AWS infrastructure. For AWS, customer trust is their top priority, as they deliver service to millions of customers including enterprises, educational facilities, and government agencies in over 190 countries. This is one of the major reasons so many hoteliers have chosen to move to the cloud. 

Contact our Sales Team today to discuss this and all the reasons the Cloud just makes sense!

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InnQuest Software is a leading technology provider for the hospitality industry. For over 25 years, innQuest has combined hotelier experience with innovative technology to deliver an all-in-one solution that empowers hotels to attract guests, drive customer loyalty, and increase profits. Our flagship property management software, roomMaster, helps manage over 5,500 properties across 100 countries. InnQuest develops scalable solutions ranging from a Hotel PMSCloud PMSChannel ManagerHotel CRM and helps properties enable guests to Book Direct. We believe that everyone deserves a great guest experience, whether they’re staying at a small B&B, a thousand-room resort, or anywhere in between.

Call us today at 1.813.288.4900, or email us at sales@innquest.com. We will be happy to walk you through innQuest’s solutions.