Whatever the size of your hotel / BnB / serviced apartment operation, it’s sensible to stay updated on how to protect your business, your guests and your staff.
ConiferGB work with many hospitality providers in London and as such have put together a few top tips to help keep you safe and secure – and give your guests and staff the peace of mind in knowing that their safety is your top priority.
1. Always Keep Your Guests Well Informed
Its best practice to keep your guests well informed about your security systems and its features. DO you have CCTV? What should they do in case of a fire? Have you installed special safes / lockers for personal belongings? Who should they report any suspicious activity to?
You don’t want to scare your guests with all these details when they check-in, but a short explanatory video or security document at the time of check-in will give them necessary information about the security and safety systems and what they need to do in case of an incident. Using a security information document or video ensures that everybody receives the same information.
Pro Tip: It may be worth getting that information translated into a few languages – French, German, Spanish, Arabic, Hindi, Chinese are the most popular.
2. Implement New Technologies
Smart Surveillance – Several types of surveillance systems are available today in the market, from face-recognition devices to motion detectors to anti-tampering systems. AI (Artificial Intelligence) Enabled Security Systems can personalize the access control system of your hotel premises. Guests can use their room key card to also access the gym, pool, private member’s lounge or any other area.
Mobile Keys – Using mobile keys eliminates the risk of guests misplacing or forgetting their physical keys – and the hassle of getting multiple copies cut and re-cut. Since almost everybody nowadays uses a smartphone, switching to mobile keys could be a very easy and cost-effective way to manage guest access. It’s perhaps also a good opportunity to look into investing in an app for your hotel where you can integrate all the above.
Pro Tip: When getting quotes from security companies, its best to let them know your concerns and what he ideal solution would look like – and let them come back with their professional input. Many companies can design systems and procedures to meet your criteria.
3. Manned Security Guarding
Technology is great, but no matter how advanced the system is, you’ll still benefit from having a physical security presence on site – that is – until the machines take over!
Until the robots arrive, it’s worth considering using SIA licenced manned guarding for high traffic / problem areas. Manned security guarding experts (like ConiferGB) can assess your business needs, diagnose where the potential risks are, and advice on best solutions. That could be one guard on reception 5 nights a week if you’re a small 50 room hotel in East London, or an elite team of highly trained ex-military guards for your exclusive, luxury retreat in Hyde Park.
Pro Tip: Think about how many incidents you have had in the last 12 months that could have been averted if you had a trained and experienced security guard on site? How serious were these incidents? Was someone injured (or worse?). Was there damage to the property? If it’s more than just 1 random incident, then it’s probably worth looking into getting a manned security provision.
4. IT Security
You may have seen recently in the news that some large hotel chains are somewhat notorious for data leakages that make their customers more vulnerable. Hotels are the natural target of the hackers because of one reason.
Hotels store their customer’s data in multiple locations like central reservation systems, third party partners, computers, emails etc. Along with that the POS (Point Of Sales), Property Management Systems, Electronic Card Programmers, etc. These systems are too connected to the hotels network.
For a seasoned hacker, a hotel is a goldmine of highly sensitive and profitable data – and whether you have 5000 properties across the world, or a family run BnB in Chelsea, there are certain steps you can take to make it harder for the hackers to target you.
Recruit a security team who will be responsible for protecting the IT assets of the hotel
Work with them to create a robust IT security plan.
Create a contingency roadmap, in case of any hacking, this will be useful to prevent further loss of data
Conduct comprehensive risk assessments periodically. Analyse all possible risk factors and plan the pre-emptive measures.
Pro Tip: Use the tools like File Integrity Monitoring (FIM), United Threat Management (UTM), Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) etc. to detect and prevent hacking at various levels.