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Stay Safe from Cyber Threats While Traveling This Summer: Lessons from the Omni Hotels Hack

Stay Safe from Cyber Threats While Traveling This Summer: Lessons from the Omni Hotels Hack
Stay Safe from Cyber Threats While Traveling This Summer: Lessons from the Omni Hotels Hack
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In early April, Omni Hotels & Resorts fell victim to a severe cyber-attack that crippled its entire IT system, leading to a company-wide outage. The organization promptly took their network offline to contain the issue, protect data, and prevent further damage. However, this action significantly impacted hotel operations, including managing reservations, manually unlocking room doors, and using point-of-sale systems in restaurants and shops. Estimates suggest the attack could cost Omni over a million dollars, likely due to a ransomware attack similar to the one MGM Resorts faced in Las Vegas months ago.

While customers were aware of the Omni outage's inconveniences, many were unaware of the dangers associated with cyber-attacks. When a network is compromised, every connected device is at risk unless protected by robust security measures. When traveling, it's crucial to treat everything as a potential threat to ensure your safety.

In today’s article, we’re sharing a couple of tips to keep you safe when you’re on the road for work or even on vacation this summer.

Tips for Secure Travel

  1. Avoid Public Wi-Fi Networks: Don't connect to public Wi-Fi networks in hotels, coffee shops, or airport lounges. If a network is compromised, connecting to it could give hackers access to your devices.
  2. Disable Auto-Connect Feature: Turn off the auto-connect feature on your devices to prevent them from automatically connecting to potential fake Wi-Fi networks set up by hackers.
  3. Use Your Phone's Hotspot: Instead of public Wi-Fi, use your phone's hotspot feature to connect your other devices to the internet securely.

If you have employees who travel for work, ensure all work devices have professional-grade cybersecurity tools installed. You don't want your sales team to return from a trade show with malware that could shut down your entire company.

Cyber Threats Know No Boundaries

The Omni Hotels incident serves as a reminder that no company is immune to cyber-attacks, regardless of size or resources. Even a large chain like Omni, with over 50 properties nationwide and presumably a substantial cybersecurity budget, fell victim to hackers. Small business owners without robust security measures in place are putting a significant target on their backs.

Free Security Risk Assessment

If you don't have a cybersecurity system in place or would like a second opinion on your existing system, we offer a FREE Vulnerability Assessment. Our comprehensive Technology Vulnerability Assessment will give you an unbiased cybersecurity risk score, validated by a qualified third party, on whether or not your business is adequately protected against these threats.

Click here to book your Vulnerability Assessment with one of our cybersecurity experts, or call our office at 509-396-6640.

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Teknologize is a SOC 2 certified, Professional Technology Services company with clients throughout the Pacific Northwest. We have offices located in:

  • Tri-Cities, Washington 509.396.6640

  • Yakima, Washington 509.396.6640

  • Bend, Oregon 541.848.6072

  • Seattle, Washington 206.743.0981

Questions about your IT or Cybersecurity? Give us a call today!

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