27/03
2018
What should Wi-Fi mean for the hospitality industry?
Posted by Elaine Bellamy on 27/03 at 10:00 AM Hospitality, Wi-Fi,
Campers using Wi-Fi - are you protected

We get requests for Wi-Fi solutions all the time from the hospitality industry, usually for guest Wi-Fi solutions to be used by cafés, restaurants, pubs, campsites, hotels, holiday parks, etc.

 

The management and owners want to provide a guest Wi-Fi service that is decent enough to support multiple concurrent users throughout their sites so there are no blackspots.
But is that all these businesses should be worried about?

 

Cyber-security for the hospitality industry 
We believe the hospitality industry should also worry about security. They are not immune to cyber-attacks. While security breaches are well publicised when they hit a large business or a public sector organisation, smaller business are being affected all the time too.

 

Our recent blog on Cyber security needed more than ever as data breaches rise discussed a report from the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) that revealed a 19% increase in cyber-attacks on UK businesses in the last three months of 2017.

 

What do you use your Wi-Fi for?
With this in mind, hospitality businesses need to consider what else they use their Wi-Fi connections for, such as:
 

  • Payment card machines
  • Wireless ordering PDAs
  • Wait list management systems
  • Music 


All these systems use the Wi-Fi at the same time as your guests. With so many concurrent users, your service will undoubtedly be affected.

 

And if you take a step back on the network, what else do these businesses use the internet connection that supports these Wi-Fi solutions?
 

  • Booking systems featuring customer details 
  • Online banking 
  • Email
  • Web-browsing

 

All of the above could be affected in the event of a security breach, either bringing down critical business systems or compromising customer data. While the latter would be devastating to your reputation, the former would hamper your ability to work, as experienced by The Smugglers Inn in Dawlish when they lost their internet connectivity.

 

The hospitality industry needs to invest in business-grade connectivity and firewalls to protect their networks while utilising filtering tools to eliminate the usual suspects that may be browsed for online: pornography, hate crime, weapons, etc.

 

Unfortunately, businesses cannot just use a cheap and cheerful Wi-Fi router used in the residential market where filters can be selected via a web portal. Businesses need to use something much more robust.

 

Once the appropriate connectivity, firewall and filtering is in place, reliable Wi-Fi solutions can be safely added to cover your entire site or premises to give staff and guests the Wi-Fi access they need. Modern solutions also allow you to fence off a guest-only area to avoid compromising staff and business use.

 

Quick sign-in and splash page
And then you can enjoy a quick sign-in via a splash page that greets every user who logs on so you can capture personal details for marketing purposes. Often these are the first things that the hospitality industry wants without considering the infrastructure that needs to be invested in first.

 

I am happy to discuss your hospitality Wi-Fi with you to help come up with a solution that will serve both you and your customers.
 

Posted by
Elaine Bellamy's avatar
Elaine Bellamy on 27/03/2018

Elaine has worked with us since 2013 and has successfully progressed into the role of cloud and connectivity team leader.

She is responsible for looking after our existing customer user base and migrating potential new customers to our fixed lines, SIP, mobiles and Internet services, as well as public and private hosting services, data solutions, Microsoft Office 365, Wi-Fi and filtering.

Before joining us, Elaine worked in customer service environment for 12 years. Elaine enjoys spending time with her family wandering the beaches of south Devon, interior design and is a keen follower of current fashion trends.


Contact: elaine.bellamy@swcomms.co.uk


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