Industry News
February 23, 20242 min read

How hospitality can protect both data and value

Property Technology

Technology increasingly permeates products and customer experiences across the hospitality and restaurant industries. That can elevate the experiences, but it can also put assets, customers and reputations at risk. “Since the pandemic, the industry has been focused on automation and streamlining processes in both the back and front of the house to address labor shortages,” said Grant Thornton Hospitality & Restaurants National Managing Partner Alex Rhodes in his 2024 industry outlook. “There are many ways to substitute an online interaction for an employee interaction.” However, lodging, restaurants and gaming companies need to be careful. “Companies need to remain cautious with technology, however, as the industry continues to be vulnerable to cybersecurity issues as demonstrated by high-profile breaches,” Rhodes said. Companies need to protect the technology that is now woven into their products and experiences — without losing the cost savings and flexibility that is often an important reason for adopting the technology.

The cost of security

Data is a growing part of the proprietary value in companies today, so data security is essential. However, it can also be expensive. How much do you need?

“You could potentially spend a huge amount of money on cybersecurity, but it might not be the best decision for your organization,” said Grant Thornton Cyber Risk Advisory Services Managing Director Don Sheehan.

To optimize security, you need more than just spending — you need strategic spending. “You can reduce cybersecurity cost, and improve response and operations, at the same time,” Sheehan said. “It takes some management direction and dedication, but you can actually reduce your spending and improve your effectiveness. It really is possible.”

As digital threats continue to grow, it’s important to get the most out of your cybersecurity investment. In a recent Grant Thornton webinar, more than 700 attendees indicated that cybersecurity automation, processes and strategy held the greatest opportunity for improved returns.

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