Why Every U.S. Hotel Needs Electronic Policy Management

Hotel businesses today integrate multiple technologies to improve efficiency and guest experience at their properties. Some of these technologies like PMS software, smartphone apps, in-room tablets etc. retain a large chunk of personal user data that must be actively secured. 

We mostly ponder over about the hardware & software that reinforce hotel data security, but rarely discuss the management of electronic policies. Today we look at the importance of effective electronic policy management (EPM) for hospitality businesses and how they secure your entire hotel. 

Prepare Hotel Staff to Handle Risks 

Carefully executed electronic policy management is an important part of risk management for hospitality businesses. Hotel owners who provide staff standardized policies & procedures to handle technologies, experience safer guest data management. These policies help hotel staff avoid risky events and guest devices & data remain secure. 

A clear & well executed electronic policy outlines the important areas of hotel technology that need addressing. These policies dictate the education, training, and real time monitoring of staff when faced with cyberthreats, breaches, and other malicious attempts on hotel technologies. 

One of the major aspects that make electronic policy deployment problematic is the distribution of responsibilities to several staff members. A clear electronic policy should distribute power to fewer staff members. A well defined policy should be simple, defines accountability, has defined staff roles, provides guidelines for new technologies, and allows hoteliers to better manage technologies.   

Electronic policies also outline the areas of responsibility, best practices, and relevant procedures that all staff members must follow. Staff then know how to operate technologies, treat guest data, and what SOPs to follow in case of a zero day event. 

Secure Your Hotel Business From Lawsuits 

Hotels are the second most popular target for cybercriminals today. Thanks to the lenient cybersecurity infrastructures and data management policies, hackers find hotels easier and more profitable to breach. Effective electronic policy management can immediately highlight this area of weakness. 

Data management legislation like the GDPR are now being adopted by a majority of countries around the world. User privacy,data security, and cybersecurity best practices are essential to follow if your hotel caters to international travelers. This can be very handy in case there are lawsuits arising from cyber breaches. Consider the Marriott Group, they had to pay out over $120 million to aggrieved victims of the renowned Starwood Hotels data hack. 

While there are no regulatory authorities in the U.S.A worried about user data privacy, those around the world are very critical of irresponsible digital business practices. Effective electronic policy management can provide hotels with well structured, comprehensive, and compliant set of rules to conform with data privacy laws. 

Tech Evolves 

The most annoying thing about technology is that it evolves very quickly. New hardware and software come out almost every year, rendering in-house hotel tech obsolete. Proactive electronic policy frameworks identify the frequency of upgrades and compliance requirements. 

No matter how basic or comprehensive electronic policies are, they must bring efficiencies to the hotel. Electronic policies must make processes faster rather than slowing them down. 

Having compliant hardware & software is critical to maintaining electronic policies. 

In 2017, hotel technology provider Sabre Hospitality Technologies faced a major breach across thousands of hotels that were using its provided POS (point of sale) machines. This hack was primarily attributed to non-compliant hardware that allows the cybercriminals to hack into the guest data of most of Sabre’s clients. 

Business Continuity 

Electronic policy management also determines the responsiveness of a hotel towards system downtimes. Creating data backups, cloud PMS solutions, cybersecurity measures, and system recovery are all major parts of electronic policies. 

Keeping your hotel hardware & software compliant is essential for business continuity. Conducting regular maintenance and health checks are one of the essential components of compliance. Professional hotel technology companies also emphasize on regular health reports and instant upgrades to hotel technology as they arise. 

The electronic policy also outlines the standards of procedure in case of system downtimes. In cases where hotel technology goes offline due to system errors, a clear roadmap must be provided for staff to recover & revert to a backup system. 

Risk Management & Compliance 

Rest put aside, an electronic policy management system is particularly helpful for addressing risks and compliance. Well defined electronic policies establish the areas of risk for hotels allowing management to understand the nature of different risks. 

Electronic policies should identify all the areas of technology risk in a hotel. For instance, Simplicable defines thirty six different types of technology risks that a business can experience, read them all here.  

Addressing various electronic risks in the policies can make the job for CIOs  and I.T. managers easier. When different risk classes already defined and addressed in the electronic policy, management can go ahead with conformity across the hotel.

Conclusion 

The essence of electronic policy management stems directly from risk management guidelines and compliance of hotel technology systems. While most hotels tend to outsource this task to specialists, few hire in-house teams to address the subject. Hospitality technology providers are readily investing in the idea of well defined, monitored, and updated electronic policies. 

A secured and compliant hotel will ensure business continuity, making sure that there are absolutely no downtimes at hotels. Electronic policies also provide a clear roadmap to address physical security of hotels allowing security personnel to establish procedures and points of compromise. 

I hope this article highlights the significance of electronic policies for hotels. Visit again for more updates on the subject. For more information about electronic policy management services, get in touch with our business team today. 

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Advanced Hospitality Technologies

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