Understanding the pros and cons of technology


Technology can often be a blessing and a curse. It has enabled us to come so far but has created problems when it does not work as intended or is abused. We know hotels are attractive targets for cyber thieves and vandals. With their wealth of personal and financial information, hotel owners, chains, and booking partner sites are on the front lines of protecting Americans’ data.

In recent years, hotel brands in Germany, the UK, and the U.S. have confronted successful cyberattacks. In some cases, user data was compromised. In others, the attacks targeted systems that did not store sensitive information about hotel guests.

Even when user data is not compromised, breaches can be hugely disruptive to business and undermine guests’ confidence. AAHOA members are committed to outstanding guest experiences from the moment someone logs into a booking site until they check out of their room. Electronic systems are not peripheral to the guest experience, so hotel chains must take every possible step to guard against bad actors who are working 24-7 to penetrate vulnerable systems. Hotel owners, including AAHOA Members, pay monthly technology fees to franchisors that are intended to fortify cyber defenses.

The purpose of the cyber security principles is to provide strategic guidance on how an organization can protect their systems and data from cyber threats. These cyber security principles are grouped into four key activities: govern, protect, detect and respond.

  • Govern: Identifying and managing security risks.
  • Protect: Implementing controls to reduce security risks.
  • Detect: Detecting and understanding cyber security events to identify.


AAHOA’s 20,000 Members own 60% of U.S. hotels, and one of their biggest challenges is staying up to date with technologies that make it easier for guests to book rooms, customize their experiences, and simplify their stay.

Small businesses, including individual hotels, often have fewer resources to guard against sophisticated cyber criminals. The bipartisan infrastructure bill includes $100 million for a fund to help victims of major cyberattacks recover from them, and lawmakers are considering additional steps to help small businesses strengthen their defenses.

The only way people can feel confident about moving toward a more technologically savvy business model is if they know it is protected.

It is obvious hotels are having to depend on technology more and more, helping provide convenience and assisting many businesses in a challenging time. How do we balance that?

As hotel owners continue to adapt to the times and continue to add more technology to their daily operations, it is imperative that strategies, policies, and guidelines are created to protect those using this technology.

That being said, there needs to be some serious thought regarding the policies of the technology to provide a better environment for using it without fear of a breach, or without putting livelihoods on the line.


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