ATLANTA, Ga., September 21– As the largest hotel owners’ association in the country, AAHOA, the Asian American Hotel Owners Association, called for ensuring cybersecurity measures are in place at hotels to prevent malicious activities like the cyberattack recently experienced by casino giants MGM Resorts International and Caesars Entertainment.
Following a ransomware attack on IHG Hotels & Resorts last year that cost hotel owners between $30,000 and $75,000 each, AAHOA called for clear lines of communication to protect franchisees who bore the brunt of revenue losses from bookings missed due to the disruptions. And in July, Choice Hotels International confirmed that guest data from its Radisson Hotels Americas chain was compromised as part of a file-transfer system hack.
Most of these franchisees impacted by the cyberattacks are small business owners who cannot afford to write off unexpected losses in bookings, especially as they struggle to overcome long-standing issues like staffing shortages.
With support from franchisors, hoteliers can optimize the guest experience and mitigate the threat of disruptive activity.
“A ramp up of three major cyberattacks over the past year shows the hotel industry is an ongoing target for hackers,” said AAHOA President & CEO Laura Lee Blake. “Recent reports have indicated that hackers frequently impersonate a victim company’s employee, and convince the IT help-desk or internal staff to provide them duplicate access. With the increasing sophistication shown by hackers, all franchisors and hoteliers must match and exceed their vigilance to protect sensitive information. Increased attentiveness and surveillance will protect the hotel guest experience, as well as the prestige and reputation of the hotels that the owners have worked so hard to build and maintain.”