Upon conclusion of PCI Abu Dhabi on Wednesday, our team headed straight for Abu Dhabi Airport to fly overnight, landing in London’s Heathrow airport the next morning for HOSPACE which was conveniently being held at the Sofitel in Heathrow Terminal 5. HOSPACE is a one–day annual conference and exhibition hosted by HOSPA, the UK’s leading educational organization for professionals involved in Financial Management, Revenue Management and IT within the hospitality industry.
This event welcomed up to 400 British and international delegates to receive an informed view from an international line–up of experts, all recognized and respected in their own field about the latest key financial, revenue and IT management issues and developments.
Ground Labs had the opportunity to share its knowledge and experience on the risk of hidden credit card data storage with delegates, particularly focusing on insecure data storage within hotels which can result in compromise of their guest’s sensitive credit card information. This is often due to a lack of education in the importance of data protection and PCI compliance. Many do not realise that there are still a large number of hotels requesting guest credit card details via unencrypted email and store these details within older legacy guest management systems which do not have any levels of PCI compliant encryption or obfuscation such as masking.
Our Director of Corporate Development, Stephen Cavey, presented this information as part of the ‘Five minutes of Fame’ challenge, succeeding in having exactly five minutes and five slides to deliver his message, in an informative, entertaining and humorous way to the entire audience.
Having never attended this event before, it became apparent that PCI compliance has only recently become a focus topic of the HOSPACE events and can now be described a major priority for many hotels and other organisations within the hospitality industry. It is also important to note that Hospitality was listed as the #1 industry suffering data breach compromises in the recent 2011 Verizon Business Data Breach Report. As organisations within this industry continue to assess their risk, cardholder data security and PCI Compliance must play a key part of the risk assessment process. Ground Labs are passionate to relay the importance of this and did so to the diverse audience at HOSPACE.
The event was thus a very new experience for Ground Labs, nevertheless offering another perfect opportunity to offer our knowledge on PCI compliance and cardholder data security, helping to educate those companies formerly unaware to its significance.
Thanks to HOSPA and the Sofitel London Heathrow for a day filled with interesting and stimulating information and resources, as well as the divine Gala dinner!
Other exhibitors at the event included Orthus, Acentic, Agilysys, Atos, Beacon Purchasing , Daisy Plc, Easy RMS, Global Blue, Keystep Ltd, Procure Wizard, Rate Tiger, Serve Base,Softbrands and XN Hotel Systems.