Hospitality is a growing industry that is slowly coming into its own when it comes to implementing the use of IoT devices. As more new technologies are leaving their mark on the world of business, it’s essential to ensure that we can use them securely.
There are numerous uses of IoT available for hospitality, but that also makes it more difficult to ensure its cybersecurity. With such a variety of IoT devices used in the industry, there are many security challenges to overcome. How do we even begin to make the hospitality industry safer?
Use of IoT in the Hospitality Industry
Almost every aspect of the hospitality business now uses connected devices. From checking in and accessing your hotel room, to managing the Heating, Ventilation, Air-Conditioning systems (HVAC), and lighting inside, you’ll be using one or another IoT device.
Furthermore, the hospitality industry is making a push into developing smart technology, which could further complicate cybersecurity issues. Smart lighting, waste and recycling systems, smart room access, and HVAC, as well as in-suite entertainment systems, are all becoming more sophisticated. But, as a consequence, they are also getting more challenging to protect.
Weaknesses that Can Be Exploited
With so many devices used by both management and guests, the main weakness of the hospitality industry use of IoT is in the point of entry. There are so many potential targets for cybercriminals to exploit, from recruiting IoT devices into botnets to carry out DDoS attacks, to breaking into protected systems to extract confidential data.
One device could put the entire network at risk, as the primary means of communication between different devices within a system are protocols like MQTT and CoAP. Unfortunately, they could be incredibly vulnerable and easily exploited. The risk of disrupting the functionality of one device and causing physical damage as well as endangering the rest of the network is immense without proper cybersecurity countermeasures in place.
IoT Security Assurance Framework
One of the ways to make hospitality IoT use safer is addressing the security of IoT/M2M communication protocols, but that will neither prevent all the issues nor address the ones that might appear in the future. Cybersecurity platforms are certainly part of the solution, but we shouldn’t rely solely on them. What we need to focus efforts on instead is coming up with new adapted Security Assurance Frameworks for the IoT industry that would ensure that security is an integral part of each device.
Keeping IoT in the hospitality industry safe is a huge challenge due to the complexity of the systems that it uses, as well as the number of devices. However, it’s essential to ensure the security and privacy of the information stored, in transit and in use by these systems.
The key to overcoming most of these challenges and improving cybersecurity lies in part with IoT developers and manufacturers. To ensure the cybersecurity of all of our devices, we have to make sure that every device is made secure on its own, which requires some changes in regulations and implementation of new practices.