The hospitality industry is open to attack through a host of databases that contain personal information about guests and customers and through the same type of point of sale (POS) payment systems that have been breached by attackers in retail stores. Basically, if you take credit cards for payments, there’s a vast network of criminals that would love to access your information systems and harvest your data.

The hospitality industry also faces unique challenges like geographic distribution across corporate and franchisee locations. The risks are multiplied by a high degree of reputation risk if customers don’t think their information isn’t safe with you.

Assessing security risks for large databases, diverse applications, and multiple locations is challenging, but not impossible and the costs are manageable. While the costs of a breach, especially a well-publicized one, are exorbitant and counterproductive.