GDPR a key challenge for hotels at HITEC 2017 - Insights

GDPR a key challenge for hotels at HITEC 2017

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into force in May 2018 and require any business that handles the personal data of EU citizens to ensure adequate protection is in place to prevent theft or misuse. However, many organisations remain unaware this new regulation applies globally including those businesses domiciled within the United States and Canada.

Furthermore, the additional consequences under GDPR of losing EU personal data can result in a regulatory fine of up to Û20 Euros or 4 per centÊof global revenue, whichever is larger.

Data protectionUnfortunately, organisations continue to be exposed to the impact of sensitive data loss by criminals as evidence by numerous hacking incidents throughout 2016 and 2017. This included the data breach of a global hotel group where over 1,000 properties were impacted.

In acknowledging and addressing this new risk to the hospitality sector, Ground Labs will be sponsoring the HITEC 2017 Conference and Exhibition to be held in the Metro Toronto Centre, Toronto, Canada on June 23-26, 2017.

The annual event is the world’s largest hospitality technology show and brings together technology, finance and revenue management professionals involved in the hospitality industry.

Throughout the event, Ground Labs will be providing live for cost-effective and simple ways to identify sensitive guest data records and secure them across a multi-site hotel environment. This data-centric approach to security focuses on eliminating the root cause of a data breach by identifying and locking down any insecure locations where sensitive data remains at rest. Sensitive guest data commonly found inside a hotel environment includes credit card data, passport information, driver’s license details, personal contact and address details, date of birth, airline miles account information and more.

By focusing on where sensitive customer data is located, a hotel can then take action to protect it, which may include deleting, quarantining, or redacting the information so it no longer carries any black-market value.

“Over the past several years, hotels both large and were previously challenged with PCI compliance for protection of cardholder data. Since this time cyber criminals have refocussed their interests on a broader set of personal information due to its higher black-market value,” said Stephen Cavey, Director of Corporate Development. “The GDPR impacts organisations globally with hotels representing a key risk area due to their handling and storage of international guest data. Our goal is to empower this industry with simple, cost-effective tools that can identify European and non-European guest information, and provide simple steps to secure any data found so that it can no longer be stolen.”

Ground Labs is a global software company focusing on sensitive data discovery and remediation.

Its flagship products, Card Recon, Data Recon and Enterprise Recon, are used by many of the world’s largest hotel brands to identify sensitive customer information stored across a computer network including desktops, servers, databases, emails and cloud storage. Through the use of Ground Labs software, hotels can help prevent security breaches and avoid international regulatory penalties.

The HITEC 2017 Conference and Exhibition is an annual event hosted by HFTP (Hospitality Financial & Technology Professionals), which since 1952 has been serving members from across the hospitality industry including financial management, revenue management and information technology professionals. Additional information about HITEC 2017 is available online at


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