PHISHING, SPYWARE, TROJANS…

Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group’s Monika Nerger says security tops the list of burning issues today

Monika Nerger is Global Chief Information Officer overseeing all aspects of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group’s global technology. Having joined Mandarin Oriental in 2006 as Vice President of Technology, the Americas, and President of HTNG (Hotel Technology Next Generation), Monika has a keen sense of “what’s hot and what’s not” at the moment. We asked her what the most burning issue is – for her – in 2016…

Security issues – both physical and technological – are dominating in today’s world. As a global hotel company, political tensions and terrorism around the world have had an impact on our business.

Equally so are the growing threats of cyberattacks and their potential implications. The emergence of Crimeware, specifically intended to steal information for financial gain, being used by well-organized, well-funded criminals is a serious threat to our industry. This goes well beyond the need to protect credit cards, as we have seen in numerous attacks that target loyalty information, as well as other personal and sensitive data.

OVERALL THIS IS AN INCREASINGLY COMPLEX ENVIRONMENT TO NAVIGATE, WITH THE CHANGING PRIVACY LAWS AROUND THE GLOBE AS ANOTHER FACTOR TO CONSIDER

Spyware, phishing, trojans, keyloggers, password stealing malware and bots are just a few examples of the many methods being used by attackers to gain access to this information, and their methods are becoming increasingly sophisticated.

When considering the hotel of the future, sharing of personal information and guest preferences to deliver a unique experience needs to be carefully considered. By definition IoT means that more personal information will need to be passed back and forth through many devices, any of which could have exploitable vulnerabilities.

Overall this is an increasingly complex environment to navigate, with the changing privacy laws around the globe as another factor to consider.

While there are many burning issues in our industry, this is one area that I consider to be the most challenging for the foreseeable future.