Safer Internet Day: Ensuring safe internet experience at hotels
BW HOTELIER spoke to IT managers in the hospitality industry to understand their efforts
Safer Internet Day: Every year, countries all over the world celebrate Safer Internet Day in February to promote safe internet practices and make the online world a friendly one for all. The awareness around following safe internet practices is on the rise, but with this also comes wariness. People in general find themselves wondering whether they should share their information over the internet or use networks set up in public places.
However, in places like hotels, guests often have to connect with the internet offered on the property for various reasons. In such cases, they can be wary of the internet they’re connected to or be concerned of the safety of their data.
This Safer Internet Day, BW HOTELIER spoke to IT managers in the hospitality industry to understand their efforts to ensure a safe internet experience for guests.
“In today’s guest experience, WiFi plays a significant role, especially when each and every gadget needs cloud connectivity these days. This leads to necessity for a hassle-free secure WiFi service to all guests. Hotel IT needs to safeguard client data such as guest device details on Hotel’s Wi-Fi networks, payment details in transit, and any third-party vendor information. They must also ensure that there are strict data security standards followed to continue operating securely, successfully, and lawfully,” says Anil Gupta, Cluster IT Director, Fairmont Jaipur and Raffles Udaipur, adding, “While data security is a top priority for many, here at Hotel Internet Services, we use various network security devices like secured Gateway as per global standards to ensure the best security and experience, which allowed access after a secured authenticated access to all the devices with appropriate level of access, monitoring and proactive actions.”
Speaking about measures to protect the property from potential threats, Rupak Sarkar, IT Manager, ITC Grand Central says, “We have deployed the security protocols in the network to protect them from the external attacks. Also, we are using the Firewalls to protect the critical devices.”
“Another major key is to keep the equipment updated with latest firmware for updated security patches in place, which reduces and ensure less or no intrusions. Same goes for a choice of good Internet Service Provider, which should preferably a ‘Class A’ service provider. They should have all the checks and security in place for secured Internet bandwidth for their customers like us. Also IT team keep on monitoring for any unwanted or unknown devices getting hooked upon Wi-Fi should also be taken into consideration to protect any potential threat or intrusion,” says Gupta.
In recent years, theft of personal or user data has been increasing. With hotels having all of the sensitive information about guests’ identities stored digitally, visitors can be left pensive about possible leakage of data. To stop this from happening, Sarkar says, “Required data exchange between the servers for specific applications is taking place through Firewalls further secured by Firewall policies. Moreover, access to pendrives and other data transfer devices is prohibited in the network.”
Apart from this, Gupta suggests that some best practices that should be followed to ensure data security include measures like ensuring latest technologies with upgraded hardware and security features, time outs or limited time slot for WiFi access in public spaces at hotel premises, proper configuration of any new device installed in network and random network audits.
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