Data Security

Written by: Prachi Chhabria- Co-founder
Edited by: Team Lotss

A recent report on 24/7 Wall St claims that worldwide spending on security-related software, services and hardware is forecasted to reach an estimated $82 billion by 2020.

Data is increasingly but equally becoming the biggest vulnerability and the strongest asset any business now possesses. After all, how can any organisation not share data with their staff? In most companies, certain staff members receive client information, supplier data, prices, contract terms, agreements, staff information, profit and loss statements, and card payment details along with other sensitive data that may or not be discussed. But the pressing question is, how this data must be protected in spite of sharing it with staff. In some instances, some staff members take their work home or use their personal computers where data may be downloaded involuntarily. Carson Booth, HITEC Amsterdam Advisory Council Chair suggests that technology security has exceeded the skills and capabilities of a property-based IT manager, creating gaps within security and service levels.

During meetings with our clients, we too have been asked about the measures that Lotss undertakes to protect the data shared on our app. The answer was simple, yet quite complex, reaching far beyond just the usage of Lotss. A digital transformation within the hospitality industry is taking place, and every person within the management team must be educated about the risks of data breach and how to protect their data. The responsibility is too large for an individual to uphold.

1) Use safe servers – A web service that helps host your website or your application in the cloud is primal for data security. These servers not only make it easy for you to host your websites or run your softwares/apps, but also give you a sense of added assurance that all your data is safely stored. Lotss runs on Amazon servers, where cloud security is the highest priority and we benefit from data centres and network architecture that meet the requirements of most security-sensitive organisations.

2) Non-disclosure agreements – Management must educate themselves regarding employee contracts, NDA’s and trade secret policies, as it is crucial to stress these policies to new and existing staff. NDA’s must explicitly state that all parties agree to protect the confidentiality of proprietary information disclosed during the time of employment or any business transaction. This is imperative since some staff members go on to work with competitors, and could use company data for their benefit. NDA’s must also protect trade secrets, such as operation processes or service procedures that provide the company with its competitive edge. The penalties for violating these secrets range on the state’s legal system, thus management and HR must be aware of such regulations.

3) Bring in a professional data security team – Some properties/offices share centralised systems but also have decentralised systems to run operations. Therefore, hiring a professional technology data security team to identify the gaps within the systems and seek viable solutions, if required, is essential.

4) Use safe technology – Many organizations source out digital systems from expertise companies, however trusting them is a risk. At Lotss, we are always happy to answer and dispel our client’s doubts surrounding secure technology. Ensuring complete security of technology is crucial for a company, especially because it holds client data. When choosing a system, software, hardware or an application, the person in-charge must be aware of the servers, the cloud, the risks, and the strengths of that particular technology before assuming its safety. This may be pointing to the obvious, but in the age of fast moving technology, it does not get said nearly enough. It may be hard to determine the value of HR documents, operational procedures or client names but we thrive on data and live in a data-driven world. Essentially, data is a complete business in itself – hacking it or taking is a bigger risk than we may realise. Therefore, Lotss urges organizations to be certain about their digital systems in place and truly address the gaps for their safety. For instance, Ocean Park Inn in San Diego selected Agilysys next-generation cloud-based rGuest® Pay payment solution to secure guests financial information and protect the property from data breaches and hacking. This specific payment gateway enables secure payment processing, reducing potential for hacking and fraud.

These are few sure fire steps to ensure complete safety of your information and they must be placed on highest priority. Management must stress to staff the importance of NDA’s and data breaching, and the repercussions of it. After all, it is a data driven world and we are just living in it.

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