Securing your stay

Network separation, secure Wi-Fi access and up to date security software are just some of the necessities to protect the public and private network in the hospitality industry, according to regional experts.

Tags: Fortinet IncorporationGulf Business MachinesHuawei Technologies CompanyRuckus Wireless (www.ruckuswireless.com/)SafeNet Incorporated
  • E-Mail
Securing your stay
By  Georgina Enzer Published  May 22, 2013

Network separation, secure Wi-Fi access and up to date security software are just some of the necessities to protect the public and private network in the hospitality industry, according to regional experts.

When looking at the security threats to the ICT infrastructure in the Hotel industry, there are two perspectives that need to be tackled, firstly, the need to protect the security and integrity of personal and financial data of hotel guests ie credit cards, room allocations, names and addresses.

Secondly, a hotel must ensure a consistent quality of service to guests by providing them with stable and secure broadband internet connectivity. This is something that in today’s hospitality market is almost a necessity in order to be competitive.

“The most effective strategy for a hotel is to have two isolated networks that service each purpose.

The first network should be designed to provide guests with broadband internet access. This network must be built to combat and mitigate any malicious software which could be planted by hackers targeting the hotel’s data centre. It must also be able to protect all guests logged into the network from similar attacks,” explains Asfar Zaidi, principal security consultant, at global ICT solutions provider Huawei Enterprise, Middle East.

Additionally the hotel network should have built-in measures to prevent rogue Wi-Fi points/hotspots and unauthorised access which slows down the entire network and degrades the service to others.

The second network is designed only for corporate use by hotel management. User authentication, firewalls and data leakage protection are critical to this network to ensure that a) no one from inside the network is able to steal data undetected, and b) that no one from outside the network can remotely gain access.

“The corporate network must be protected from un-authorised access and the introduction of malware through devices connected to the network by authorised users. This can be achieved by using data leakage prevention systems, firewalls, IPS and antivirus gateways,” says Zaidi.

PCI DSS compliance
If the hotel network is not separated from the guest internet network, that is cause for major concern, as the hotel network needs to comply with Payment Card Industry (PCI) data security standards, since it manages and processes credit card and personal information about the guests and their identity credentials.

PCIs clearly explain measures needed to protect the information of customers. For example, it states that data must be stored securely in a data centre that has seven layers of security which should include, application firewalls, IPS, antivirus and anti-Ddos solutions.

Add a Comment

Your display name This field is mandatory

Your e-mail address This field is mandatory (Your e-mail address won't be published)

Security code