When COVID-19 industry wide lockdowns hit clubs and pubs there was a quick transition to a remote workforce. Since reopening, Zoom board and management meetings have been introduced as a permanent fixture, many managers are still remote working a few days a week, and additional software/hardware resources, such as sign in systems, QR coded menus, facial rec and website developments using highly resourced software tools, have created a rapid surge in digital capabilities.
This digital response to the COVID-19 new ways of working have also created significant security vulnerabilities.
Cyber attackers can exploit gaps when employees use insecure devices and networks using malware and phishing operations, as well as more sophisticated network technology such as ‘bots’. Remote working can widen a clubs “attack surface” with employees using their own devices, platforms and operating systems that require their own dedicated support and security. Particularly in a club, these same security considerations can apply to suppliers who may not have an equivalent level of security. Hackers can start targeting these third-party suppliers with the goal of penetrating upstream partners.
The hospitality and gaming industry has already been a target internationally due to the large databases of personal information held by these businesses. Major data breaches in 2020 alone include:
- MGM Casinos recently disclosed that it was the victim of a data breach caused by “unauthorised access” to a cloud computing server that stored guests phone numbers, addresses and other personal data, claiming that the breach had resulted in stolen data from over 10 million guests being published recently on an online forum.
- Marriott says personal information for at least 5.2 million guests could have been accessed by unauthorised people at two of its hotels for more than a month earlier this year. The accessible information included full names, email and postal addresses, phone numbers, account numbers and points balance, birthday, gender, and any linked loyalty affiliations, like with airlines.
- Slot machines in two Las Vegas casinos were out of action for almost a week in an incident that bears all the hallmarks of a ransomware attack. Four Queens Hotel and Casinoand Binion’s Casino in downtown Las Vegas are open for business but for several days were only able to trade in cash, while startling videos of rows of crippled slot machines on empty casino floors swept across Twitter.
With this heightened risk, Cyber security experts are becoming recognised as strategic partners in both technology and business decision making with a new need to explore technologies that can reduce long-term risk and ensure that the club network and system can handle additional digital resource use.
Each year almost 50% of businesses fall victim to an IT attack and this has been increasing throughout 2020. There are millions of automated ‘bots’ that crawl the web looking for security vulnerabilities. From keeping your software up to date to monitoring access controls, Secom Technology can provide security audits to identify some of the security gaps in your system, and set up secure remote working solutions, to enhance work flexibility including:
- Secure Firewalls to block unwanted web traffic, phishing detection, specialised crypto-ransomware prevention technology to protect your hard drive and Intrusion detection to check if breaches have occurred.
- Highly secure VPN (Virtual Private Network) set ups to create more secure connection to access your files, servers and printers from any connection.
- Voice over internet protocols (VOIP) to allow remote connection to your office phone system and use your office phone plan instead of mobile charges.
- Remote backups to protect the club from loss of data due to laptop breakage or theft.
- Private or public cloud-based software solutions accessible at a URL and protected by a login gate.
For a free cyber security and remote working health check contact:
Managing Director – Secom/Sint – Phone: 1300 781 224