Increasing Hotel Security with Cloud-Based Solutions

By Manit Narang 26. August 2021

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Cloud-based hotel software has transformed the hospitality industry. Throughout the pandemic, as occupancy and revenue sunk to abysmal revels, the adoption of cloud-based solutions helped hoteliers increase productivity and drive profitability during the industry’s most challenging times.

As cloud-based solutions become increasingly commonplace, with hoteliers expected to invest 7-8% more in cloud technology over the next two to three years, hoteliers may notice another key benefit to adopting cloud-based solutions: an increase in digital security. With digital security threats quadrupling from 1,000 attempts per day in 2015 to 4,000 per day in 2020, switching to cloud-based solutions may aid in better preparing a hotel against potential data leaks.

What are cloud-based solutions?

In the simplest terms, the cloud is the internet. When a solution is cloud-based, it means that it can be hosted from a remote, third-party location and accessed anywhere via an internet-connected device. Rather than needing to re-download the software required on each device used to access a hotel’s cloud-based solutions, however, only one application log-in is required.

Cloud-based solutions are attractive because they offer a more cost-effective solution to modern software, primarily driven through the elimination of physical terminals and the costly fees associated with their upkeep. Additionally, many cloud-based services offer a ‘pay as you go,’ model, which relies on subscription-based and consumption-based fees rather than requiring up-front capital expenditures that many solutions require from installing hardware and software.

Hoteliers also do not necessarily need to choose between cloud-based and onsite hosting. Hybrid solutions, which combine cloud storage and local storage, allow hoteliers to smoothly integrate cloud-based technology. With 72% of respondents in one group survey describing their cloud strategy as hybrid-first or on-premises-first, hybrid solutions are popular for their ability to offering hoteliers with the benefits of each solution.

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How are cloud-based solutions more secure?

When cloud solutions were first introduced into the hospitality technology sector, many people were skeptical about their ability to securely store sensitive information. Despite its wide-scale adoption and ever-growing popularity, there are still many misconceptions about cloud-based technology being less secure than traditional alternatives. Some believe that the myths are rooted in the fact that the approach itself inherently feels insecure: storing data on third-party serves and systems may make a hotelier feel as if it has been taken from their control, and is therefore at a greater risk of data loss and theft.

However, cloud-based solutions are often more secure than their traditional alternatives. When a solution is cloud-based, it no longer needs manual onsite maintenance; everything on the cloud can be managed remotely and updated automatically. Hoteliers can be assured that their cloud-based solutions are constantly up-to-date with the latest technology implemented to fight new security threats. Troubleshooting and maintenance can also be performed immediately; without a physical server, there is no need to schedule a service appointment with your provider.

Additionally, hoteliers no longer need to worry about the backups and security copies they often need when equipped with an internal server. On the cloud, all data is mirrored and continuously backed up on a secure, remote server. The data transfers that cloud-based solutions often use are encrypted, high-security protocols that are used in many banks. These methods ensure that no data is ever lost, digital security risk is mitigated, and network crashes won’t be detrimental to a hotel’s operations.

 

Which solutions should hoteliers take to the cloud?

Hospitality’s most popular cloud-based solutions include property management systems and internet solutions. Cloud-based PMSs take critical data security responsibilities off a hotelier and onto their providers, who enable real-time and secure data transfers. Similarly, cloud-based internet solutions can protect against cyberattacks driven towards vulnerable, Wi-Fi connected guests. However, many technology providers are developing methods to integrate the cloud into their solution offerings.

With access management essential to hotel and guest safety and with vital amenities like Mobile Access requiring seamless integration with existing operations, an additional cloud-based solution hoteliers should consider is the implementation of cloud-based access management. Switching to a cloud-based access management system allows hoteliers to maximize the hotel security benefits of the cloud. With guest safety and security a first concern for hotels, the need to perform automated security updates and patches in an access management system is a high priority. Additionally, taking your access management solution to a cloud-based platform can aid in a property’s physical security, too: because hoteliers can monitor and control security access operations from an off-premise device, they can more quickly respond to detected security threats.

 

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Additionally, with many guests preferring Mobile Access due to its enhanced convenience and contactless abilities, adopting an advanced cloud-based access management solution can eliminate potentially unforeseen compatibility issues while further boosting a digital key platform’s security protections.

For example, more reputable digital key solutions utilize state-of-the art encrypted communication channels to securely transmit digital key data to guest devices. When paired with a cloud-based access management system, any potential vulnerabilities that are later discovered can readily be resolved via a remote software update that does not require waiting for a provider to first schedule an onsite visit.

The impact that cloud technology has had on the hospitality industry is tremendous.
As hoteliers continue to look for practical solutions to modern security threats, the benefits
of utilizing cloud-based technologies are undeniable.

 

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By: Manit Narang

As Vice President for ASSA ABLOY Global Solutions within the Middle East, Africa, India & Turkey, Manit Narang manages all aspects of the business in the IMEAT region. A seasoned hospitality professional, Manit has more than 25 years of hospitality industry experience with global companies in the region, with 15 of those years being spent with ASSA ABLOY Global Solutions.

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