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

In early April, Omni Hotels & Resorts experienced a significant cyber-attack that brought down its entire IT system, leading to a company-wide outage. The organization acted swiftly, taking the entire network offline to isolate the issue, protect its data, and prevent further damage. Unfortunately, this response severely disrupted the hotel's operations and daily functions, such as managing reservations, unlocking hotel room doors manually, and using point-of-sale (POS) systems in restaurants and shops within the hotel. Some estimates suggest this attack could cost Omni over a million dollars. Although the hotel has not confirmed this, several sources speculate that the cyber-attack was a ransomware attack similar to the one that affected MGM in Las Vegas several months ago.

While most customers were aware of the inconveniences caused by the Omni outage, many were unaware of the broader dangers associated with cyber-attacks. When a network is compromised, every connected device is at risk unless protected by high-grade cybersecurity tools. Whether traveling for work or leisure, it's crucial to treat all connections as potential risks. Here are some tips to help keep you safe on the road or during your vacation this summer:

  1. Avoid connecting to public Wi-Fi in hotels: This advice also applies to coffee shops, airport lounges, and similar places. If a network is compromised and you connect to it, hackers could gain access to your devices.
  2. Disable the auto-connect feature: Even if you don't actively connect to a hotel's Wi-Fi, a hacker might set up a fake Wi-Fi network that your device could automatically connect to. Turn off this feature and only connect manually to trusted sources.
  3. Use your phone's hotspot: Instead of using public Wi-Fi, use your phone's hotspot to connect your other devices to the internet. If your phone doesn't have this feature, your wireless provider can often add it for you.

These tips can help protect you, but if you travel for work or have employees who do, it's vital to ensure all work devices have professional-grade cybersecurity tools installed. Sending your sales team to a hotel-hosted trade show should not result in bringing back malware that could cripple your company.

This incident serves as a stark reminder for all Miami-Dade business owners: No matter your company's size, you can still fall victim to a cyber-attack. Omni Hotels & Resorts, with over 50 properties nationwide, likely has a substantial budget for cybersecurity, yet it still fell victim to hackers. No system is entirely impenetrable, but small business owners who lack any security measures are putting a big red target on their backs.

If you don't have a cybersecurity system in place, or if you do and someone else manages it but you want a second opinion, we offer a FREE Consult.

Click here to book your FREE Consult with one of our cybersecurity experts, or call our office at 954-327-1001.

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