What Credit Unions Can Learn from the MHR Breach

Wherever there is money, there are sure to be a few individuals who will want to get their hands on that profit. Unfortunately, hackers can attack any organization in any industry, and the hotel and restaurant industry is no exception.

Cyber attack on hotels

According to the Credit Union Times, Denver-based Millenium Hotels & Resorts North America (MHR) was the unfortunate victim of a cyber attack in August 2016. If you are part of a credit union, you could find yourself in similar situations, even if you may not be dabbling in that specific industry. However, that does not mean that you can’t learn a thing or two from what they had to go through. Here are a few lessons we can learn from the breaches that these two hotel chains suffered:

Not Keeping All Your Eggs in One Basket

MHR’s food and beverage systems were illegally accessed at 14 of its hotels, potentially leaking the data of at least five thousand cards. Fortunately, the damage to MHR was limited to only its food and beverage point-of-service (POS) systems, since they were made to be separate from their property management and booking systems.

While it may be inconvenient to keep each platform separate from each other, it may just prevent any further hacking of your own company’s sensitive data. The disadvantage would be the extra step of consolidating all of the information again into one streamlined platform, which could eat up your employees’ precious time and effort.

If this is the case, then segmenting your network into smaller, more protected zones might be the more preferable solution. This way, attacks can be isolated in just one zone in the event that attacks do occur.

Keeping Your Technology Up to Date

According to Data Breach Today, the attacks were carried out on the hotel’s legacy POS systems. Though the hotel claims that the use of the term “legacy” does not necessarily mean “outdated,” using older software could definitely put any organization at greater risk, especially as cyber threats become more advanced as the years go by. Thus, even if your older system may still be receiving support from your supplier, it would be best to always invest in the latest offerings to ensure that you are protected against newer schemes and more complicated attacks.

Investing in a More Secure Financial Solution

Another more cost-effective solution would be to invest in a solid and secure financial solution such as one of those offered by CO-OP Financial Services. Instead of having to spread your member’s data across multiple systems, you can keep everything in one place instead. Plus, you can allow your members to control their accounts remotely with services such as CardNav. They can restrict when and where their card can be used, activate a cap on their spending in order to avoid unexpected expenses, and deactivated a card if they accidentally lose it.

In order to avoid becoming the next victim of a cyber breach, it is crucial that you learn from the mistakes of those who suffered from these attacks in the past. Keep your credit union up to date with up-to-date technology and educate your members with the latest news on cyber security to keep your defenses up.


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