Is Hotel Security Falling Behind?
NEW YORK CITY—How effective are hotels at ensuring the safety of their guests? From emerging threats like data security to old ones like room theft, AIG and Advisen sought to answer exactly these questions for the increasingly complex world of security. They compiled their results in the white paper "A Survey of the Current State of Hotel Security."
The survey asked risk managers, loss prevention and security personnel in the hospitality sector for their insight into the such topics as theft and assault, their use of surveillance and the measures undertaken to counteract cyber threats on guests. Focusing on U.S. properties, the respondents ranged from operators owning less than 50 properties to those with 250 or more.
To download the full white paper from AIG and Advisen,
"A Survey of the Current State of Hotel Security," click here.
The survey found that while adoption of electronic locks has been widespread (92% use magnetic-strip keycards or RFID keycards), these technologies may be readily bypassable using available technology, and one in five respondents did not know when their systems were last upgraded. Theft is just under half (47%), but Tom Ferguson, vice president-practice leader of AIG's Casualty Risk Consulting group notes that thefts are a prime motivator for changing locks: "If this same question [have you upgraded your door lock systems in the past two years?] would have been asked five years ago the percentage of Yes responses would likely have been much lower."
The topic of video surveillance is another security area hotly contested. Respondents typically kept video footage for 30 days, although Lance Ewing, practice leader, Hospitality and Leisure at AIG, suggests that hotels should "keep [surveillance tapes] for the same amount of time the state allows for bodily injury suits." Where those cameras should be placed was also asked in the survey, and whether or not they should be in guests' rooms or swimming pools had varying results. The paper further discussed the relevant questions that an operator should address when installing and monitoring surveillance.
Since the type of information collected on guests is very similar to that gathered by retailers, the information is as attractive of a target for potential cyber-theft. So how is the industry handling it? With little regulatory guidance and with the industry exploring virtual forms of storage, the paper finds that liability is still largely left to general counsel (47%), and that insurance against cyber-theft is widespread (67%), but not complete.
To read the full results, as well as their findings on phyiscal safety and personnel hiring practices, download the white paper by clicking the button below.