Tag Archives: Guest Security

Hospitality Industry Security Solutions: Hotels Increasingly Providing Dedicated “Women’s Floors”; Increased Security And Amenities For Female Travelers

“…The Crowne Plaza Bloomington in Minneapolis also has a Women’s Floor with additional security features and amenities…The hotel saw a Hotel Safety Concerns For Female Travelersneed, given that females now make up 47% of the guest population at Crowne Plaza Hotels and Resorts, says Gina LaBarre, vice president of brand management for Crowne Plaza…”

“…Hotels are responding by setting aside floors with special key access and amenities that women typically prefer…The Naumi Hotel in Singapore has dedicated the third floor, which has nine rooms, to female travelers. Guests have to use a special access card to get in. Amenities include hair straighteners, sanitary products and yoga mats…”

Book a room on the 11th floor of the Hamilton Crowne Plaza here,  and you’ll get special bath salts and body products, a magnifying mirror, nail polish, nail files and a curling iron. They’re not exactly the types of amenities that men would go for, but that’s the point.

The Hamilton Crowne Plaza is one of a small, but growing number of hotels offering floors dedicated to female travelers. These hotels are particularly trying to appeal to female business travelers, who are moving up the career ladder and hitting the road more often.

For more:  http://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/hotels/2013/12/08/hotels-women-only-floors/3910931/

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Hospitality Industry Security Solutions: Hotels In Metropolitan Areas Should “Create Actual Security” With “Layers Of Properly Trained Personnel”; A Need For Sophisticated Security Cameras For Thermal And Infrared Viewing

“…what (hoteliers) want to create is actual security and depth—layers of properly trained personnel to meet the risks that are known for the venue you’re in…if you’re in Times Square, covert effort is more appropriate…vulnerability audits help find ‘weakness in the system that can be hotel securityexploited or lapse during a crisis’…the audit shows some oft-forgotten measures, such as making sure the hotel’s website can handle a thousand times the traffic without crashing or that associates know appropriate protocols….every employee is a crisis manager and a (public relations representative) for the organization…’if you don’t teach them what they should and shouldn’t do, they’ll wing it’, and that can be dangerous to a hotel’s reputation…”

“…(sophisticated security equipment such as) thermal and infrared viewing for nighttime and low-visibility conditions, license plate readers, car counters, people counters, cameras with analytics that follow subjects automatically and alert critical areas of operation…”

While hotels can be safe havens for guests, they can be the target of attacks as well. Anthony C. Roman, president of risk-management firm Roman & Associates, said the hotel industry has suffered in the last decade. Hard economic times globally have caused hotels to cut back on security budgets. As more hotels are taking the appropriate preventive security measures, other hotel brands have not addressed the issue at all. “And yet other brands are subcontracting their security requirements to private security companies,” he said.

The constant flow of large numbers of people in and out of hotels during daily business hours makes them vulnerable for attacks, according to global intelligence agency Stratfor. “There’s certainly fear,” Haley explained. “There are few targets that offer the potential awards for motivated terrorists that hotels do.” Those rewards are a large target with potentially massive body counts and global exposure. The problem with hotels, he added, is “they’re open and inviting places.”

For more:  http://www.hotelnewsnow.com/Articles.aspx/10326/Terrorism-risks-heighten-hotelier-awareness

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Hospitality Industry Crime Risks: Arizona Hotel Guest Reports $2,000 Stolen After Front Desk Accidently Gives Out Victim’s Room Key

“…The hotel front desk worker told police he accidentally gave the suspect the victim’s room key after forgetting the room was already Hotel Theft Surveillanceassigned…a short time later, the suspect and an unidentified man checked out, saying the room was dirty, according to the police report. By the time the victim came back to her room, her purse and clothes bag were gone…”

A 24-year-old Arizona woman had an interesting response when given the wrong room key at an Oak Creek hotel last week: Steal the clothes and purse of the person staying there. According to a police report, the woman took advantage of a mix-up at the Days Inn front counter and got off with more than $2,000 worth of valuables and clothes belonging to a woman staying at the hotel with co-workers.

The purse contained a phone, credit cards, social security card, $30 in cash, a diamond ring valued at $1,500 and a check made out to her for $1,500. The check and credit cards were canceled.

Clothes, an iPad, sunglasses, an umbrella and more jewelry were also stolen, according to the report.

The front desk worker told the victim that Days Inn is responsible for paying to replace the items stolen, according to police.

For more:  http://oakcreek.patch.com/articles/room-key-mix-up-leads-to-theft-of-purse-clothes

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Hospitality Industry Security Risks: Hotels Should Employ “Motherboard Fix” To Make Electronic Door Locks Secure From Hacking And Break-In

“It’s the older Onity locks that are subject to hacking,” Seiders said. “With the old locks, which were the best at the time, the encryption code that authorizes the lock to open has been installed on all of those individual Onity Electronic Locklocks. The hacking device, when it’s plugged into the lock, fools the lock into thinking it’s an authorized programmer. The newer locks don’t have the encryption code in each one; the code is issued at the front desk.”

Following a robbery at a Houston hotel in which thieves exploited security flaws in Onity locks first revealed at the Black Hat conference in July, Hotel Management spoke with Todd Seiders, director of risk management at Petra Risk Solutions and former director of loss prevention at Marriott, for tips on how hoteliers can keep their rooms secure.

“[Onity] immediately started offering the caps and screens to block the port that causes the vulnerability, but I don’t think that’s a very valuable option, because if you block these terminal ports and you have an emergency in the room and the lock has failed, you have to be able to plug in the portable programmer or you’ll have liability issues,” Seiders said. “The thing to take advantage of now is the motherboard switch out. If you mail it in within a reasonable amount of time they’ll replace it for free. The motherboard fix, that’s what these hotels should be doing.”

While Seiders noted that the recession has meant less money available for full-time security staff and new equipment like cameras, he emphasized the importance of staff training in hotel security. “My advice is to go walk the halls and if you see a person standing in the hallway go and look at him for 60 seconds. He’ll either go to a room, or, if not, approach him and say ‘what’s up,’ find out if you can help him. Customer service is the best security.”

Seiders also pointed out that the newer models are not as vulnerable to hacking.

In a statement from Onity, the company said, “Over the next several weeks, we will ensure all hotel properties in our database receive the mechanical solution. These mechanical caps and security screws block physical access to the lock ports that hackers use to illegally break into hotel rooms. The mechanical solution remains free of charge to customers. Technical solutions vary depending on the age, model and deployment of locks at properties.”

For more: http://www.hotelmanagement.net/operations-management/keep-your-rooms-secure-from-door-lock-hackers

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Hospitality Industry Security Risks: Illinois Hotel And Restaurant Sued For “Negligence” After Guest Attacked By Man With Knife In Restroom; “Allowed Unauthorized Access To Property”

“…The lawsuit claims the hotel and restaurant at 909 N. Michigan Avenue were negligent when they allowed Restaurant Crime“unauthorized persons to gain access to their hotel, restaurant and restroom facilities” and didn’t perform proper security checks…”

An Oak Brook doctor who was stabbed in the neck and face during an attempted holdup at a Gold Coast restaurant in November is suing his alleged attacker along with the restaurant and hotel that houses it. Mir Shah says he was violently attacked and stabbed several times by Jimmy Harris in the bathroom of the Westin’s The Grill on the Alley on Nov. 17, according to a lawsuit filed Monday in Cook County Circuit Court. The restaurant’s bartender was also injured when he chased Harris, who cut him with a knife, police said.

Harris, who also goes by the name Jimmie Harris, had been freed from prison eight days prior to the attack. He has at least 60 arrests and nine felony convictions dating to the late 1970s, according to Chicago police, state and court records.

Shah, an oncologist, was out to dinner with his family that night after attending the Lights Festival along the Magnificent Mile. While in the bathroom, Harris approached Shah and announced a robbery before stabbing the doctor in the right side of his neck and face, prosecutors said. Shah is now disfigured and disabled, according to the suit.

For more:  http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-doctor-stabbed-after-mag-mile-lights-festival-sues-suspect-20130107,0,4498714.story

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Hospitality Industry Security Risks: Hotel Electronic Door Locks In “Various Stages Of Being Repaired”; “Mechanical Caps And Security Screws” Provided To Block Hackers

In October, hotel insurance-related company Petra Risk Solutions issued its hotel clients an alert headlined, “Crime Alert – Onity Guestroom Door hackers are for real.”

Onity Electronic LockIn Florida, Petra loss prevention expert Todd Seiders said he received reports that a hacker had been seen carrying a laptop and using a key card – possibly connected to the laptop – to open locked guestroom doors.

The locks on more than 1 million guestroom doors are in various stages of being repaired, following the revelation this summer that they may be vulnerable to hackers.

The New York Marriott Marquis, the biggest hotel in Manhattan, for instance, just completed updating all of its nearly 2,000 door locks. The hotel is one of thousands of properties with guestroom locks manufactured by Onity, a division of United Technologies. An Onity website also shows Sheraton, Hyatt, Holiday Inn, Fairmont, Radisson and other well-known hotels from Paris to Perth as also having its locks updated.

The hacking tool, according to Petra’s alert, could be made for about $50 in easy-to-acquire electronic parts.

“Please train and notify your hotel staff that these burglaries are spreading across the country,” Petra’s alert cautioned hoteliers. “Hotel staff should be vigilant while they are on the guest floors and paying attention to guests walking through hallways…Take time to watch guests walking through your hallways to ensure they are going to a room and entering it. Be very suspicious of someone carrying a laptop or small bag wandering the hallways. Greet guests and ask them if they need assistance.”

Onity did not immediately return an e-mail seeking comment about the issue. But in a statement updated for December on its website, Onity says that as of Nov. 30, it has shipped hardware to fix 1.4 million hotel door locks. The hardware includes mechanical caps and security screws that “block physical access to the lock ports that hackers use to illegally break into hotel rooms.”

For more:  http://www.usatoday.com/story/hotelcheckin/2012/12/14/hotels-fixing-flaw-that-made-room-locks-vulnerable-to-hackers/1769081/

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Hospitality Industry Security Risks: “Hacking Hotel Locks In Seconds With Cheap Tools” (ABC News Video)

Why 100’s of thousands of tourists are vulnerable to theft or worse.

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