In a recent incident, Omni Hotels & Resorts fell victim to a cyber-attack that resulted in a complete IT system shutdown and a company-wide outage. The organization swiftly responded by taking the entire network offline to contain the issue, safeguard their data, and prevent further harm. However, this action had a substantial impact on the hotel's operations, affecting tasks like managing reservations, manually unlocking hotel room doors, and using point-of-sale systems in on-site facilities. The aftermath of the attack is predicted to cost the Omni over a million dollars, with rumors suggesting it could be a ransomware attack akin to the one experienced by MGM in Las Vegas. 

The repercussions of cyber-attacks extend beyond inconvenience, highlighting the importance of understanding the associated risks. When a network is compromised, every connected device becomes vulnerable unless equipped with robust security measures. For property managers in apartment communities, the Omni incident serves as a cautionary tale about the potential threats posed by cyber-attacks. 

To ensure the safety of residents, staff, and property data, property managers can implement the following strategies: 

  1. Avoid Public Wi-Fi: Discourage residents from connecting to public Wi-Fi networks within the apartment community or surrounding areas to minimize the risk of unauthorized access to devices. 
  1. Disable Auto-Connect: Encourage residents to deactivate the auto-connect feature on their devices to prevent automatic connections to unknown or potentially compromised networks. 
  1. Utilize Personal Hotspots: Recommend the use of personal hotspots provided by cellular devices instead of relying on public Wi-Fi networks for enhanced security during online activities. 

Moreover, it is crucial for property managers to prioritize cybersecurity measures for any work-related devices used within the apartment community. Implementing professional-grade security tools can help mitigate the risks associated with cyber threats, especially for employees who frequently travel for work engagements. 

The Omni Hotels & Resorts cyber-attack serves as a stark reminder that businesses of all sizes are susceptible to such incidents. Despite having substantial resources, even large companies can fall prey to cybercrime. This underscores the importance for property managers and small business owners alike to invest in proactive cybersecurity measures to safeguard their operations and assets from potential cyber threats. 

By learning from the Omni Hotels & Resorts experience and emphasizing cybersecurity awareness, property managers in apartment communities can better protect their residents, staff, and property from the detrimental impact of cyber-attacks. 

If you don’t have a cybersecurity system in place, or if you do and someone else is managing it but you’d like a second opinion, we offer a FREE Security Risk Assessment. This assessment will go over every area of your network to identify if and where you are vulnerable to an attack and propose solutions to fix it. 

Click here to book your Security Risk Assessment with one of our cybersecurity experts, or call our office at +1 (888) 388-5441.