There have been many recent articles proclaiming the lack of security in hotel Wi-Fi networks. We hear reports of security breaches, data hacks, phishing incidences, and the list goes on. These articles have made it seem as if there was not a safe Wi-Fi network in the world.
As a hotelier, I am sure it would at the very least make you anxious. Yes, there are problems in the industry, but there are also solutions. Credentialed installers are going to do their utmost to keep you and your guests secure. Here are a few points to help maintain a secure Wi-Fi network.
First of all, any device that stores guest data should be PCI compliant. Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance requires an adherence to a specific set of security standards developed to protect card information during and after a financial transaction. Obviously, this is a must and cannot be overlooked.
Up to date software
This is a bit of a no-brainer, but you would be surprised at how often these points are ignored or simply forgotten about. By all means, make certain that all firmware/software security patches are kept up-to-date on all your equipment. This includes all computers, laptops, servers, etc.
It is vital that access to all network devices are done through encrypted communication methods. Do not leave your network exposed to the bad guys. Make sure that each person who has access to the network devices does so with unique credentials.
When it comes to the security settings specific to guests, the networking vendor should provide complete client isolation. This must be setup to block clients from communicating directly with each other. Additionally, network abuse detection and prevention settings should be in place to protect the network as a whole.
Security software and services
Ask your network vendor if they have malware, virus, Trojan and other such detection and prevention services available, and consider implementing this on each guest network.
Lastly, even with every security measure in place, a hotel network is a public access network, and guests should be advised to keep this in mind and follow the appropriate security protocols with their devices.
One more thing – hackers don’t need a phishing license to attack your network. By all means, educate your staff on potential security break-ins. Your employees are the first and last bastion of security in your network so teach them what to expect. Turn them into human firewalls and keep the bad guys out.
Hotel Wi-Fi security is one of the most important aspects of your network. Security is everyone’s problem but it does not have to be a major concern. Just applying best practices to the installation and maintenance will keep your guests safe and secure.
Of course your guests need to follow their best practices as well. The only solution to guest security in this case is educating guests on the key security aspects.
About the author
Lawrence Jaffe is the Marketing Director of Hotel Internet Services, a leading provider of secure wired and wireless Internet services, Video-on-demand, IPTV streaming media, unattended business centers, 24×7 Support services and meeting and convention services for casinos, hotels, resorts, timeshares, and other venues. Hotel Internet Services has successfully deployed hundreds of small to large-scale facility-wide Wireless and TV solutions across the US and currently manages and maintains hundreds of properties with more than 150,000 guestrooms.
Hotel Internet Services are delighted to provide the Guest Guide to Safe Wi-Fi which we have made available to readers of eHotelier. Alternatively, please contact Lawrence George Jaffe at +1 866-265-7575 Ext. 720 or email at email@example.com.