Hotel Data Breaches, Other Attacks Underscore the Need for Cyber Insurance

In mid-February, MGM Resorts confirmed that, in the summer of 2019, the personal data of some 10.6 million guests was exposed on the dark web, potentially for hackers to abuse. The leaked data, according to ZDNet, included guests’ names, addresses, phone numbers, emails, and birthdates. MGM in its statement said, “It was confident that no financial, payment card or password data was involved in this matter…and that [it] promptly notified guests potentially impacted by this incident in accordance with applicable state laws.” MGM also said that it had retained the services of two cybersecurity forensics firms to investigate last year’s server exposure.

This latest incident, along with other types of cyber attacks, from hotel data breaches to cyber extortion, ransomware and social engineering, illustrates the need for hotels to secure Cyber insurance – a topic recently discussed in Hotel Business magazine. In the publication’s article, “Is Cyber Insurance Worth Having?,” Chris Larson, underwriter at Distinguished Programs, is interviewed about why Cyber coverage for hoteliers is so important.

Chris, along with other insurance industry interviewees, discusses how vulnerable hotels and resorts are to cyber threats due to the valuable personal information they capture and store on their online reservation systems and reward systems. They discuss the ways in which Cyber Liability insurance will respond in the event of a loss and the additional resources that come with most policies, including a breach coach and forensics experts.

Chris in the article reinforces that, with Cyber insurance, a hotel risk will have coverage to protect against claims regarding network security, privacy for customer and employee data, business interruption, and media liability, among others. He also points out to the hospitality community that Cyber insurance goes beyond protecting an entity for a data breach and can cover e-Crimes as well, including wire transfer fraud.

Distinguished Programs provides the hospitality industry with Cyber insurance, which includes first- and third-party coverages, cyber breach response services, and much more.