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Cyber-Attack Takes Omni Hotels & Resorts Offline; Here's How To Travel Safely

Another cyber-attack has recently occurred, this time targeting Omni Hotels & Resorts in early April. The attack led to a complete shutdown of the IT system and resulted in a widespread outage across the company. The organization promptly responded by taking the network offline to control the situation, protect data, and minimize further damage. Unfortunately, this measure severely disrupted hotel operations, impacting activities such as managing reservations, manually unlocking room doors, and operating POS systems in hotel restaurants and shops. The estimated cost of the attack exceeds one million dollars, and it is suspected to have been a ransomware attack similar to a previous incident at MGM in Las Vegas.

Although the outage caused by the Omni incident was inconvenient for many customers, not everyone is aware of the risks associated with cyber-attacks. When a network is compromised, every connected device becomes vulnerable unless protected by advanced security tools. It is vital to view all network connections as potential risks, especially when traveling, to maintain safety. In this article, we provide several tips to help you stay secure while traveling for work or leisure this summer:

  1. Avoid Public Wi-Fi: Refrain from connecting to public Wi-Fi networks in hotels, cafes, or airports. Using these networks can allow hackers to access your devices.

  2. Disable Auto-Connect: Turn off the auto-connect feature on your devices to prevent them from automatically joining potentially malicious networks. Always manually connect to known, trusted networks.

  3. Use Your Phone's Hotspot: Opt for your mobile phone's hotspot feature over public Wi-Fi to provide a more secure connection for your devices. If your phone does not currently support this feature, consider contacting your wireless provider to enable it.

By adhering to these safety tips, you can enhance your protection against cyber threats. It is crucial for those who travel for business, or manage teams that do, to equip all work-related devices with high-grade cybersecurity measures. Allowing your team to attend events without adequate security measures can lead to the introduction of malware that could seriously harm your company, a risk that is essential to mitigate.

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All business owners in Columbus should note the critical takeaway from this regrettable incident: regardless of your company's size, you are susceptible to a cyber-attack. Even large entities like Omni, with over 50 properties across the nation and a significant cybersecurity budget, are not immune to such breaches. No system is entirely foolproof, and without any security measures, small businesses are particularly at risk.

If your company lacks a cybersecurity framework or you are seeking a second opinion on your existing setup, we offer a FREE Discovery Call. This comprehensive evaluation will scrutinize your network, identify any vulnerabilities, and provide tailored recommendations to bolster your cybersecurity defenses.

Click here to book your Discovery Call with one of our cybersecurity experts, or call our office at 800-626-3223.