Staying Secure: Lessons from the Omni Hotels Cyber-Attack

Recently, Omni Hotels & Resorts suffered a significant cyber-attack, which resulted in a complete shutdown of their IT systems and disrupted daily operations across the hotel chain. This event which occurred in early April, led to extensive challenges including disruptions in managing reservations and issues with point-of-sale systems in restaurants and retail locations within the hotels. The attack, suspected to be ransomware similar to the incident at MGM in Las Vegas, is estimated to have cost Omni over a million dollars.

This incident serves as a stark reminder of the vulnerability all businesses face in today’s digital landscape, regardless of their size or the robustness of their security measures. Below, we offer essential tips to enhance your digital security, particularly when traveling, which is crucial as we approach the summer vacation season.

Critical Cybersecurity Tips for Travelers:

  1. Avoid Public Wi-Fi: Public networks, such as those in hotels, coffee shops, or airports, are common targets for cybercriminals. Avoid connecting to these networks as they can be compromised, allowing hackers access to your devices.
  2. Disable Auto-Connect Features: Many devices have features that automatically connect to available networks. Disable this to prevent your devices from connecting to potentially malicious networks without your knowledge.
  3. Use a Data Blocker: Avoid those free USB-charging ports you see scattered around transportation hubs. These ports could be hiding malware! If you need to charge up your device you should consider a USB Data blocker.
  4. Leverage Mobile Hotspots: Use your smartphone’s hotspot feature for a more secure connection. This is generally safer than public Wi-Fi and can be easily set up with your service provider if it’s not already active on your device.

Cybersecurity for Business Travelers:

If you travel for work, or manage employees who do, ensuring that all work devices are equipped with professional-grade cybersecurity tools is crucial. An employee inadvertently connecting to a malicious network can lead to severe consequences, such as malware that could cripple your entire business.

A Universal Vulnerability:

The Omni Hotels incident underscores a critical lesson for all businesses: no organization is immune to cyber-attacks. Despite robust defenses, large corporations can still fall victim to sophisticated cyber threats. Smaller businesses, often with fewer resources for cybersecurity, can present even more tempting targets to attackers.

Take Proactive Steps to Secure Your Business:

We cannot overstate the importance of having a strong cybersecurity framework in place. If you’re unsure about the security of your network or simply want to ensure your defenses are up to the task, consider taking advantage of our FREE Security Risk Assessment. Our experts will review your network comprehensively to identify vulnerabilities and suggest actionable solutions to strengthen your defenses.

Ready to Secure Your Business?

Don’t wait for a cyber incident to occur. Book a Security Risk Assessment today to protect your business from the evolving threats in the digital world. Call us at 877-807-1332 to schedule your assessment with a cybersecurity expert.