3 Ways Hoteliers Can Protect Data With Key Control Solutions

After planning and preparing dream vacations and securing reservations, hotel guests count on the protection and security of their credit card financial data through cybersecurity measures the hotel has put in place. A data breach can cost thousands to millions of dollars to repair damage and restore security, depending on the type of data breach and the number of consumers affected.

The reputation of the hotel chain is another matter entirely after occurrences of cyber theft, which can take years for a hotel chain to build back trust after guests’ financial data is hacked. Hoteliers also need to prevent access to their own financial records, so operations run smoothly and do not interfere with hotel bookings and security equipment.

The aim of protecting data is to keep hotel guest records private and secure, to maintain compliance with state regulatory laws regarding data privacy, and to protect profits. Every year, cybercriminals seemingly get more skilled at hacking into hotel records and financial data. While network cybersecurity is of utmost importance to prevent cybersecurity breaches, sophisticated physical security solutions, such as electronic key control, also play an important role in protecting data.

Electronic key control systems monitor and track the use of all the keys used on hotel premises. Keys are secured in a tamper-proof cabinet and access to individual keys is managed through the key control system’s software to always account for every single key. All key removals and returns are automatically recorded, and email or text messages are sent to alert management of irregularities such as overdue keys.
Here are three ways key control systems help to protect hotel computer data:

Key Control Protects Server Rooms and Computer Hardware

All the keys that belong to computer server rooms and hotel financial operations offices are tucked away and secured in the key control cabinet. Individual keys are released to authorized users only, limiting who has access to these areas and equipment. Criteria can be entered into the system according to days of week, times, and shifts to ensure that there is accountability for around-the-clock key usage. Every key transaction is recorded, and audit reports are always available to assist with hotel regulations and compliance.

Key Control Prevents Insider Threats

Besides protecting computer equipment from being physically accessed and stolen by hotel insider employees or contractors, sensitive and valuable items kept on hotel premises are further protected by special electronic key control features. These systems are capable of recording when an employee attempts to access a key they are not authorized to use, or when a key is returned by an employee other than the employee that took it out. These risk indicators that a key management system can identify an when combined with data from the various other security and surveillance systems the information can be analyzed, and conclusions drawn so that necessary actions can be taken to prevent future occurrences.

Key Control Locks Down Sensitive Information and Assets

Electronic key control conveniently provides access control to keys to filing cabinets and financial offices, as well as provides security for portable electronic devices storing financial data, such as tablets and laptops. Key control systems can be configured with locker modules to store valuable portable electronic devices. For items that require higher security levels, these systems can be programmed with multifactor authentication, which also prevents the risk of insider threats. To access sensitive keys or assets, sign-in credentials from multiple authorized users must be authenticated and cleared by the electronic key control system before individuals are permitted to remove keys or items.

Hotels need to hold their reputations as safe and secure places to stay. When hotel financial data is compromised, it leaves hotel operations and guest data vulnerable to being stolen. While cybersecurity is of utmost importance to protect hotel data, it is equally as important to install physical security systems that prevent access to data and computer hard drives. This reinforcement of security for financial information also helps hotels meet or exceed compliance regulations in their states. An electronic key control system is an effective physical security tool that provides excellent access control to financial information, which helps to prevent catastrophic cybersecurity breaches.

Sponsored by Morse Watchmans.

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Marcey Tweedie, Marketing Specialist, Morse Watchmans has nearly four decades of marketing communications and writing experience. She is a six-year employee of Morse Watchmans, Inc., a global electronic key control and asset management company.