Survey: Half of hotel execs say data breach is likely

A new survey suggests nearly two in three (64 percent) hospitality professionals believe the risk of a data breach increases when employees work off-site—opening a proverbial door for hotels to promote cybersecurity as a key attraction as hotel rooms become ad-hoc daily offices.

The "10th Anniversary Edition Data Protection Report" from Shred-It, an information security service provided by Stericycle, outlines data security risks threatening U.S. enterprises and small businesses. 

While companies are getting better at protecting their customers' personal and sensitive information, their focus on security training and protocols has declined in the past year. This decline could pose issues for businesses because 83 percent of consumers say they prefer to do business with companies that prioritize protecting their physical and digital data. The report also found that 22 percent believe inadvertent employee errors are a threat to information security.

Among the key findings from the report, 27 percent of hospitality C-suite execs say they offer training on cyber threats only once per year, but 28 percent say they never do. A third—33 percent—say they’d expect customers would lose trust in them if there was a data breach. More than a quarter—27 percent—conduct consistent testing to ensure employees do not fall victim to a breach.

More than 1 in 5 (21 percent) hospitality C-suites say they have experienced a data breach, and nearly half (49 percent) say a breach is very or somewhat likely. However, 42 percent of hospitality C-suites say the threat of data breaches is overblown. Nearly two thirds—62 percent—say they’re worried sensitive information about their company has been exposed on the internet. Despite this, only about half (49 percent) have cyber insurance.

26 percent of C-suites and small business owners confirm that no policy exists for storing and disposing of confidential information when employees work off-site or away from the office.