How Safe is Your Hotel Data? Web Based PMS Solutions Offer Some Compelling Features to Help Protect Your Hotel Information

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Data security has always been an important issue for hoteliers. As the value of information rises, so do the associated costs of data loss. Web based PMS solutions have inherent security features that help hoteliers mitigate the risk of different types of threats to hotel information.

By Mark Smiciklas, MBA Data security has always been an important issue for hoteliers. As technology evolves and marketplace dynamics continue to change, information is becoming…to coin a phrase…priceless.

As the value of information rises, so do the associated costs of data loss. There are different types of threats to your hotel information, including data theft (outside parties trying to steal data or employees stealing or misusing customer information) or lost data due to hardware problems, human error, corrupt files, computer viruses or natural disasters. But what are some of the potential consequences of lost data? Some of the negative effects of hotel data loss could include:

Damage to your Brand Image - Developing a brand takes time and resources. The brand equity you've spent so much time building could be at risk with a single data loss incident. The cost of a damaged reputation to your property is hard to calculate, but might include revenue erosion due to fewer reservations and ultimately lower occupancy rates over the long term.

Direct Financial Costs - There are a number of expenses that could result from data loss. These include data recovery costs, costs associated with notifying guests, possible legal fees due to potential lawsuits and depending on your location, possible fines due to regulatory infractions related to consumer privacy laws.

Are there other options available besides investment in I.T. security? More and more hoteliers are looking to web based property management systems such as RoomKey© PMS to provide an added layer of data security. While traditional server based property management systems store data on a computer right at the hotel, web based solutions are centrally hosted at highly secure data centers.

While most hotels recognize the importance of data security, it can be impractical and cost prohibitive to maintain the required level of diligence in this area. Web based property management solutions are designed to shift the I.T. burden away from hoteliers, letting them do what they do best - run their properties. For example, the data center that hosts RoomKey© PMS uses state-of-the-art technology and security measures including:

Data mirroring - This process involves making a copy of your data from one hard drive onto another. If one hard drive fails, the other one activates and there is no interruption in service.

Data Backup - A series of backups are made to a medium that is not attached to the computer itself. These back up files are sent off site for storage. In addition, these backups are done on live data as well, so there is no disruption to users.

Redundant power supply - Data center servers contain two (or more) power supplies within each unit. Each power supply is capable of powering the entire server on its own. If there is a failure in one of the units, the other one will automatically take over to prevent the loss of power to the server.

Some of the other security measures include:

  • The latest and most advanced anti virus protocols
  • Filtered power
  • Backup air conditioning
  • Multiple internet connections
  • Spare pre-configured servers
  • 24 hour on site security and maintenance staff
  • Data housed in "clean" buildings that are structurally configured to withstand severe weather conditions and/or security breaches

The cost of lost data will increase as the value of information continues to rise. Web based property management solutions offer hoteliers a viable alternative to traditional server based systems - providing global access to your hotel information, multiple features, functionality and possibly the most important investment advantage of all when it comes to data security, greater peace of mind.

About the Author

Mark Smiciklas is the Director of Sales and Marketing at RSI International Systems Inc. RSI is the developer of RoomKey© PMS - a web based, centrally hosted property management software solution that offers anytime anywhere access to data while integrating an online reservation booking engine with seamless real time connectivity to major Global and Internet Distribution Systems. RSI markets RoomKey© PMS and a variety of other proprietary hosted software solutions to hospitality industry clients around the world.

For more information about RoomKey© PMS visit the RSI website at http://www.welcometorsi.com or contact the author at msmiciklas @ welcometorsi.com

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Mark Smiciklas

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