Posted 6/27/2012 - 9:53:10 AM
BALTIMORE—The 2012 Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC) kicked off here yesterday with a strong focus on security as evidenced by the opening keynote session by hotel cyber security expert Josh Klein.
In a session called “Lulz to Larceny: Self Defense in the New Media Age,” Klein noted that hotels are particularly vulnerable to cyber attacks. “Your attack surface is very porous. Hotels are set up to have strangers all over the place so they have to protect a lot more than other places,” he said, adding, “people don’t think about [the vulnerability of] public spaces when they are in a private hotel.”
Klein added that popular sites like Google are becoming tools for hackers, as well as plenty of in-room technology such as televisions, VOIP phones and RFID remote controls. Going forward, Klein advised hotel operators to lock down their hardware, encrypt their connections, secure their services and educate their staff to reduce their vulnerability to attacks.
The session was preceded by the induction of Douglas Rice, executive vp and CEO of Hotel Technology Next Generation (HTNG), into the Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame. Rice, who was a founding member of HTNG in 2002, noted the association now has some 3,000 members around the world. He noted the greatest accomplishment of the group has been “for this industry to start looking outside itself.”
He detailed the key principles that led to the founding of HTNG, such as urging hoteliers “to spend IT development money on what makes you different” and “using open standards by giving guest systems access and capability.” He added another important criteria for the group was having “experts who share knowledge.”