The U.S. hospitality industry contributes nearly $600 billion to the U.S. economy and generates nearly $170 billion in federal, state, and local taxes each year. Protecting this industry and its high volume of financial transactions and related personally identifiable information from guest data is critical for its continued success. A 2016 survey by Lodging Technology ranked payment and data security as the highest priority for technology spending by hotels.
Hospitality organizations rely on Property Management Systems (PMS) for daily tasks, planning, and record keeping. As the operations hub, the PMS interfaces with several services and components within a hotel’s IT system, such as Point-of-Sale (POS) systems, door locks, Wi-Fi networks, and other guest service applications. Adding to the complexity of the network, external business partners’ components and services are also typically connected to the PMS, such as on-premises spas or restaurants, online travel agents, and customer relationship management partners or applications (on-premises or cloud-based). The numerous connections to and users of the PMS could provide a broader surface for attack by malicious actors. Improving the security of the PMS can help protect the business from network intrusions that might lead to data breaches and fraud.
Based on industry research and best practices within the hospitality industry, Cyber Management Systems will propose a solution to better secure the PMS and its connections within a hotel’s IT system that implements layers of security: point-to-point encryption, data tokenization, multifactor authentication for remote and partner access, network and user behavior analytics, and business-only usage restrictions.
Building on this framework with the support from vendors of cybersecurity solutions, Cyber Management Systems will explore methods to strengthen the security of your PMS and its connections and will develop an example implementation composed of open-source and commercially available components. The results of the project will produce a Cybersecurity solution needed to effectively secure the PMS and its many connections within the hotel IT system.