The epidemic is expected to cast a serious and lasting impact on the hospitality industry in the short term and is likely to recover in six months’ time. Due to the suppression of customer demand during the epidemic, the industry is expected to face a period of concentrated demand release after the epidemic. How to quickly and accurately capture the change in customer demand, how to turn crisis into opportunity and how to seize the opportunity for development? These have become the key challenges for hoteliers to ponder. This is a fabulous time for hotels to reinvent themselves and infuse their operations with fresh thinking.
Here are some tips to help hospitality overcome the difficulties that
Adopt cloud technologies
Remote working becomes the norm for today. Thanks
to innovations and technology, even such a people-centric industry as
hospitality experiences an increase in telecommuting. In fact, hoteliers can
manage all the hotel processes without even being there. With cloud-based
Property Management Systems, they are able to control all operations at anytime
Products like Udaya offer a fully cloud managed experience for hotels and restaurants, allows hoteliers to use a mobile app and control everything about their Wi-Fi experience. The Udaya series of products are all managed centrally from a public cloud including configuration, monitoring, captive portals, SMS sign-on, payment gateway interfaces and analytics.
Use this time for hotel maintenance and renovation
Coronavirus outbreak doesn’t mean
hoteliers are closing doors and are just waiting for this period to end. It’s a
perfect time to catch up and improve. Whether it is a spontaneous renovation or
completing your Property Improvement Plan, there’s no better time to do this.
To begin, you can make a list of items, things, and everything that needs to be
It’s time to invest in Guest Wi-Fi.
Guest Wi-Fi is a brilliant solution to the common problem hoteliers face – how
to make Wi-Fi pay for itself. With Guest Wi-Fi each person who uses your Wi-Fi
becomes a marketing opportunity from the moment they first log on and give your
business a ‘Like’. From that point onwards you have almost unlimited
opportunities to communicate with them through email and social media to
promote your business.
udaya is a scalable and cost effective solution suitable for any hospitality deployment. It controls user Internet access, sets limits, engages users, provides powerful analytics and helps hoteliers run different marketing strategies to maximize revenue from their Wi-Fi.
Sure, PMS systems are not something new. Hoteliers have been using them for years. But in these times, this system can bring even greater benefits. For example, if the PMS goes with mobile concierge apps, which can help engage with the guests without personal contact, starting from check-in to meal and service orders. Products like Inventum’s MSG gateways supports leading PMS systems for seamless access for in-room guests using room number and guest name. Free or upgraded speed plans can be offered against payment to both guests and hotel visitors.
Focus on meal delivery from the hotel restaurant
Hoteliers can take steps to increase
restaurant sales during the COVID-19. Remember about aggregator, delivery and concierge
apps that can help provide both hotel guests and non-guests with the option of
meal delivery right to their rooms without even talking to someone.
Reconsider existing health and safety techniques
Plot the guests’ journey from front
door to guestroom, and then to check-out. Can you simplify and reduce staff
interactions so as to better a more contactless environment? It is crucial to
have appropriate health and safety policies in place, especially for hotel
business that relies on in-person interactions. In these contexts, hoteliers
should promote proper health and safety measures, which may include
self-service pay systems and orders through mobile apps.
down on discretionary spends
The next 6 months are going to be extremely tough for business and only the ones who have operated with a tight leash on their finances and guest experience might survive. Independent operators who manage to survive and continue on this journey, should analyze their expenses and cut down on discretionary spends. Instead, spend this money on improving the client experience whenever business resumes, this would include ensuring top-quality linen and house-keeping, strict hygiene standards & better Wi-Fi experience.
Hotels/Resorts/Restaurant can also consider zero capex UNIFY™cloud solution to get started immediately. The offering includes virtual routers as part of the subscription allowing any server (PC) on facility to be used as a gateway router for the hotspot(s). All other elements are managed via the UNIFY™ Cloud platform with no additional on-site hardware required. All you need are Wi-Fi access points to get started!
Ransomware is “a type of malware that prevents users from accessing their system or personal files and demands payment in order to regain access.” The earliest variants of ransomware were developed in the late 1980s, and payment was to be sent via snail mail. Today, ransomware authors order that payment be sent via cryptocurrency or credit card.
Ransomware is a severe threat not only for individual users but also for corporate network environments because it allows cyber criminals to gain a lot of money in a short amount of time. While some ransomware strains demonstrate strong coding skills and great sophistication, ransomware distribution platforms allow conducting a ransomware campaign without needing to have a developer background. When browsing the dark web, it is not uncommon to find shady websites promoting ransomware-as-a-service platforms. These malicious actors offer, for a fee, the same services a legit cloud provider would, such as development, tech support, customized dashboards, etc., without any need for the attacker to know any programming languages. The cybercriminals running it offer the attackers all they need, including binaries, documentation, detailed instructions and tech support.
Ransomware attacks are often successful because corporate organizations have security gaps with their patch and configuration management policies. Most organizations apply updates and patches only after testing them in a demo environment, which might create a window of opportunity for attackers to successfully exploit a vulnerability that the latest patches would have remediated.
Recent ransomware strains like Ryuk, often delivered through large botnets such as Emotet or TrickBot, have become more sophisticated and lethal. The city of New Orleans was recently forced to declare a state of emergency after a Ryuk ransomware attacktook place on December 13, 2019. The infection spread so fast and dramatically that the city was forced to order all employees to power down computers and disconnect from Wi-Fi.
Another recent ransomware attack took down a US Coast Guard base for around 30 hours and was reportedly triggered by an employee who opened an infected email.
Many surely remember the WannaCry ransomware outbreak, which successfully compromised a very large number of computers over a short time frame in May 2017. Not everyone knows, though, that Microsoft had released a patch to fix the underlying SMB vulnerability some months before this widespread infection started occurring, but most individual and corporate users had not applied this patch yet.
Had most Windows users applied the patch earlier, the WannaCry outbreak would have likely been much more contained than it actually was.
Should You Pay the Ransom?
This is a very controversial topic. Government and law enforcement agencies mostly recommend not to pay.
An efficient and secure backup policy can minimize the risks related to a ransomware infection. If backup copies are created regularly and stored securely (including offline), the victim user/organization can have a much better chance to resolve this situation without suffering excessive damages.
However, sometimes the answer to this question cannot be so clear-cut. Much depends on how valuable the information being held for ransom is for the organization and on how much downtime an organization can afford. Even with an efficient and secure backup policy in place (and tested regularly!), there may be situations when an organization cannot afford to lose data or having its servers and workstations down, even for a limited time.
Backups are normally performed on a fixed schedule. A company having a large website, forming the bulk of its business, cannot afford to lose, for example, the transactions finalized over the day, or even over the last hour because it could mean losing millions of dollars. Additionally, if an organization’s business relies on proprietary information and said information is being held for ransom, the organization may seemingly have no other choice but to pay.
However, paying the ransom does not always guarantee that the files held for ransom will actually be decrypted.
Many ransomware attackers will provide the decryption key after receiving the related Bitcoin payment, while others do not. Sometimes a bug or some other technical issue prevents the provided decryption key from working to successfully decrypt all ransomed files. Often the decryption process, even if works, is extremely slow and unreliable.
Whether the attackers and their decryption tools release your files or not, this is definitely a situation your organization does not want to be in.
What Enterprises Can Do to Stop Future Attacks
Use Prevention vs. Detect & Respond Solutions What good is a cybersecurity solution that detects attacks after they have happened? Or worse, misses the threat completely, like the Dominion National or AMCA attacks. Utilizing prevention methods that can stop zeroday and other known and unknown advanced attacks is crucial for a robust security framework. A preventative approach will also take the pressure off IT/Sec-Ops and minimize attacks due to human error.
Arm Employees with Training and the Right Set of Tools As you noticed from the list of attacks, most attacks occur through online social engineering schemes that manipulate users to open the doors for hackers. One of the most common examples of this is a fileless attack. The bottom line is employees can be the first line of defense against such threats. They must learn how to spot phishing schemes, not download attachments without context, even when sent from an existing contact.
Don’t Assume Your System is Secure; Perform Continuous Threat Monitoring Develop an understanding of the current threat environment and take appropriate measures to protect yourself from attacks. Evaluate your existing security solution stack and practices and periodically employ third-party pen testers to do in-depth vulnerability testing. Gain visibility across your environment, so you know what software and systems have weaknesses. Once identified, prioritize the most critical vulnerabilities so you can mitigate those first.
An average organization has more than 200 apps: there are ample opportunities for bad actors to find weaknesses, and that is just the apps IT knows about—shadow IT increases the risk. Gartner estimates a third of successful attacks next year will involve shadow IT. No organization can address all vulnerabilities, even with the best IT teams and technology in place—therefore, a preventive solution is key.
Manage Third-Party Risks Most companies rely on a variety of vendors, suppliers, and partners—and those relationships bring unwanted exposure to the business. Even with a strong security posture, attackers can simply find the weakest link in the supply chain and use it to gain access. Segment your network and limit third party access to critical infrastructure. Establish security checks and thresholds for partners and vendors.
Cybersecurity Should Be a Culture, Not a Practice A strong cybersecurity culture goes beyond employee training and awareness. Everyone in the company—from the board of directors and C-suite executive leadership to every line employee—should view themselves as a critical part of strong security defense. Board and senior leadership should make cybersecurity a priority. Executive leaders should emphasize a cybersecurity culture of “no-fear” where an employee can raise appropriate alarms if they make a mistake, instead of sweeping it under the rug from the fear of getting fired.
Devise Comprehensive Incident Response Plans Incident response (IR) should never be treated as an ad-hoc process. Assume that your security parameters are already compromised. Your security team should already have a well-defined methodology and IR playbook that is updated continuously based on new attack vectors that can be quickly implemented to quarantine, block, or eliminate malicious network traffic.
How AppGuard Can Help
Every cybersecurity company talks about how great their products are — that’s how marketing works. But business leaders have noticed that for all the talk about how effective today’s malware detection and response software is, hackers keep finding new ways to breach the data repositories companies spend so much time and effort to protect.
AppGuard is different because our patented technology guards and isolates processes that start from an application, no matter how trustworthy they look. That’s a radically different approach than “detect and respond” cybersecurity strategies. It doesn’t rely on alerting IT or security operations teams so they can check out suspicious activities. AppGuard stops the processes before they can cause harm.
Since we don’t operate in a “detect and respond” model, AppGuard
doesn’t require extensive whitelisting, updates or connection to a
central server. That means human error and overworked IT/security
operations teams don’t contribute to risks for AppGuard users. AppGuard
delivers complete endpoint protection on a zero-trust basis.
We’re the only solution that prevents breaches from both known and
unknown cyber threats, and in our nine-year history, users have never
reported a breach.
AppGuard Enterprise, a centrally managed, host-based endpoint protection solution that prevents malware and all advanced attacks from harming the system.
AppGuard Server, a zero-trust, host-based endpoint protection agent for Windows and Linux servers, centrally managed from the same system as agents for laptops and desktops.
AppGuard Solo, a self-managed, zero-trust, host-based endpoint protection agent for laptops and desktops that is ideal for small businesses and non-technical users.
AppGuard TRUSTICA Mobile & IoT, a centrally managed, host-based solution for making employee mobile devices safe to use for the enterprise without intrusive co-administration.
So, if you’re looking for an edge over competitors, take a look at AppGuard’sproducts. With AppGuard, you can prevent breaches from occurring while focusing on your core strengths. There’s a cybersecurity crisis — let’s not waste it. Use AppGuard to create a safer connected world.
Inventum Technologies Featured in “10 Most Promising WiFi Solutions Providers in India 2019”
The days of inconsistent connectivity and Internet cables are in the past. Customers are now better informed and demand instant connectivity. Despite low mobile data prices, customers are turning to Wi-Fi for better and much improved experiences. This has carved a niche market for managed Wi-Fi services. Managed Wi-Fi solutions and services play a key role in better managing the user’s access and the entire lifecycle of WLAN right from designing to installing wireless systems including proactive network and infrastructure management. Adoption of cloud based Wi-Fi services is the future.
Enterprises are on a constant lookout for Wi-Fi solution providers who can keep them in pace with the changing norms. Perfectly understanding demands of the industry, CIOReview released a list of “10 Most Promising Wi-Fi Solution Providers – 2019”. These solution vendors will help in transforming business processes through their significant offerings.
Inventum Technologies is featured in CIO Review Magazine list of “10 Most Promising Wi-Fi Solutions Providers – 2019”
Perfectly poised in this market, Inventum leveraged its deep domain expertise to launch its Udaya brand of Wi-Fi 5 products that offer a fully cloud managed experience for offices and premium homes, allowing customers to use a mobile app and control everything about their Wi-Fi experience.
enterprises, hotspots and other public networks, the Udaya series of products
are all managed centrally from a public cloud including configuration,
monitoring, captive portals, SMS sign-on, payment gateway interfaces and
analytics. Taking serious security measures to put any apprehensions customers
may have at ease, the company used its deep expertise gained from working with its
telecom customers over the years and applied it to improve security and
QoS where Inventum’s access points, gateways and routers are second to none
along with a list of features built for the Indian market.
Incepted in 2003, the company holds a leadership positions in manufacturing routers, access points, gateways and associated software systems permitting the delivery of an end-to-end solution exclusively using Inventum products. Inventum can provide you the wireless equipment, the backend software systems, lawful interception systems, security systems and routers that are all made in India; but more importantly, Inventum can also install and operate the entire network for you.
“Inventum’s decades of experience in large public Wi-Fi projects has translated well to managed Wi-Fi projects for Co-Living, Co-Working spaces, hotels, hospitals, office campuses and the likes.”
Making a Difference
Inventum led its first large network, Tikona in 2009, where there was a 22 city roll-out, on a scale that had never been attempted before. The company was also involved in a national managed Wi-Fi network project for PVR cinemas which is one of the largest such projects across Asia. Additionally, the company takes pride in the completion of its recent project where the backend solutions were delivered to RailTel to enable Wi-Fi at 5,400 railway stations across India. Simultaneously, Inventum has implemented 15 smart City Wi-Fi projects.
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For more details on Inventum’s Wi-Fi Solutions, click here.
Inventum Technologies has been conferred with the 3ndMy India WiFi India Leadership Award 2019 for “Best WiFi OSS/BSS Solution” at the recently concluded My India WiFi Summit & Awards 2019 at The Imperial Hotel, New Delhi on Aug. 20, 2019 organised by DigiAnalysys.
This award recognizes Inventum as one of the top most OSS/BSS Solution provider in India. This is Inventum second year in a row. Inventum had received My India WiFi India Leadership Award 2018 for “Best Cloud WiFi Solution”.
Mr. Anil Walia (extreme left), CSMO, Inventum, receiving the award from Mr. TR Dua (centre), Director General, TAIPA accompanied by Mr. Pradeep Kushwah (extreme right), Marketing Manager, Inventum
The awards ceremony was attended by imminent industry leaders including Dinesh Tyagi, CEO, CSC SPV; Sarvesh Singh, CMD, BBNL; A Seshagiri Rao, CMD, TCIL; Vipin Tyagi, Executive Director, C-DOT; K Alagesan, CMD, ITI and many other dignitary.
Mr. Sachin Mehra (extreme left), CEO Inventum, receiving the award for “Best Cloud WiFi Solution” from Mr. Anuj Jain (centre), President, Reliance Jio accompanied by Mr. Anil Walia (extreme right), CSMO, Inventum
Speaking on the event, Mr. Anil Walia, Chief Sales Officer, Inventum, says “We are delighted to receive the My India WiFi India Leadership Award 2019 for Best WiFi OSS/BSS Solution category. This coveted award is result of our continous efforts of improving ISPs & WISPs customers experience and providing them a end-to-end solution.”
Inventum’s UNIFY is a complete stack of billing & operations management (B/OSS) software. The key modules for the stack includes AAA, Subscriber CRM, Financial Accounting, Prepay & Postpaid Billing, Reseller Management, Electronic Wallet System and many more.
Inventum is a leading provider of fixed & wireless data networks technology with a strong made in India portfolio. Inventum builds routers, cloud solution, security and software systems that power some of the world’s largest communication networks. Inventum products are used by mobile operators, FTTH providers, ISP, Wi-Fi hotspots, Airports, Hospitality, Convention Centres and Smart Cities.
My India WiFi India Awards were instituted by DigiAnalysys Media in 2017 to recognise and celebrate visionary enterprises across industry segments and to focus on highlighting key trends and technologies in the WiFi segment.
A range of routers suited for the African ISP industry were launched at the recently concluded India-Africa ICT Expo 2019. Indian vendor Inventum showcased both its hardware & virtual router products at the event.
Inventum believes that it’s extensive experience with ISP, WISP, hotspots and Smart Cities in India will translate well for African customers who face similar challenges.
“We are a trusted made in India brand with 2 decades of proven experience in developing hardware and software solutions for the ISP & telecom sector which we believe is ideal for Africa…” said Mr. Anil Walia, Chief Sales Officer, Inventum.
Presently Inventum offers a range of high speed routers, BNG, WAG, cyber security and Wi-Fi access point products. The company also provides OSS/BSS, AAA, Postpaid & prepay billing products.
Public WiFi hotspots have been around for over 15 years. New ones are being created everyday… and are shut down everyday as well. Various state governments in India are in the process of setting up public hotspots as part of their smart cities initiative. The Delhi Government went one step ahead and promised 30 minutes of free Wi-Fi to everyone, everyday. It’s a noble undertaking, but unless they really think it through, it’s unlikely to be more than an election promise that was delivered, but didn’t do anyone any good. Sort of like the BRT.
To put it simply, the problem is a combination of the user experience and funding model.
Hotels that bundle the cost of Wi-Fi in the room rent or large coffee chains that simply write it off as a utility expense like electricity or air-conditioning have a very well defined business model. They know that the revenue earned from their core business (room rent, food and beverages) can be enhanced, or at least sustained by making their location more attractive to customers with free Wi-Fi. Because they know the number of rooms they have, they know the number of visitors they can expect and hence, know how much it will cost to provide a certain quality of Wi-Fi. So, if the cost vs revenue ratio is acceptable, the service is provided and everyone’s happy.
The situation with most other hotspots isn’t so straightforward. Where there’s no clear way to recover the cost of Wi-Fi from other sources, operators attempt to entice customers with a few minutes of free Wi-Fi and then pester them to make an online payment or watch an advertisement. Here’s where the problems start.
Unless we’re just hanging around an airport waiting for a flight to be called or killing time at a coffee shop, most of us don’t have more than a few minutes to spare to sync emails or search the web for a phone number or whatever.
But the experience of connecting, registering, paying, logging in and finally using most public hotspots is so cumbersome and time consuming, that most people don’t bother. Unless the Wi-Fi service is far superior (i.e. faster, cheaper, reliable and convenient), most of us would rather just use the data plan of our mobile phones and be done with it.
The customers don’t use the Wi-Fi beyond the free period and the operators don’t make any money. Everyone loses.
There are ways to make it all work and it has been done before successfully. This article mentioned that Vodafone India might be moving in the right direction. So far, nothing has been announced officially. I guess we’ll just have to wait and watch.
With Wi-Fi being politicised by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the recent Delhi elections, it seems our politicians have found a new sop to entice the young voter. Free Wi-Fi is the catch phrase being canvassed across the country, synonymous with smart cities, real estate projects and even the railways.
Will these projects be delivered? And is Wi-Fi even the right technology for smarter cities and an enlightened population? In the case of the former, let’s just say most projects will remain election promises; the suitability of Wi-Fi as a technology to reach Indian masses however, requires more thought.
Wi-Fi was invented to take your Internet wire at home or office and make it airborne. For the uninitiated and puritans do forgive me, but this analogy works every time – Wi-Fi does to your home Internet connection what the cordless telephone did to your landline. The idea had always been to deliver fast data over short distances, freeing us from our desks.
The Achilles heel for Wi-Fi is its range and radio interference, dictated by physics more than government regulation. The typical range of your Wi-Fi home router is that of a yesteryear digital cordless telephone. They do of course use similar frequencies (2.4 & 5.8Ghz) and have the same issues penetrating brick and concrete walls in average Indian homes. With Wi-Fi operating on an “open to all” radio frequency, it pre-disposes the technology to lots of interference. Just think of it like rush hour in Delhi, everyone coming at you from all direction, zero lane discipline, and a free for all.
If you have a large enough home to need two routers, you most likely have experienced the limitations of range and interference. Most people I know will have different SSIDs “Ground Floor” and “First Floor” jumping between the two as they walk around the house. Each time you hop, your web page or video stalls.
So I ask the question, is Wi-Fi the right technology to deliver a quality user experience to the populous in a cost effective (since nothing is free) manner?
Experts, mostly expensive Wi-Fi equipment vendors, will argue that their gear has evolved to provide better range and deal with the hopping issue. Many cite examples of successful city-wide projects like Wireless@SG in Singapore. US & European service providers are using Wi-Fi Offload to divert subscriber 3G data traffic over to hotspots in an effort to decongest their mobile networks.
And while these innovations may work very well in other countries, the real question in my mind remains – is it right for Delhi, is it right for India?
Having been part of a company that has contributed to building some of the largest Wi-Fi networks in the world, here are my arguments & learning:
Wi-Fi access points including the outdoor expensive type have an average range of 500 meters or less. Range falls sharply with obstructions such as walls, trees and of course other devices on the same frequency including your 2.4Ghz microwave oven and your existing home Wi-Fi router;
Each access point will need an Internet wire connection to take the airborne signals and switch them back to the ISP. If you live in Delhi, you probably already know how difficult it is to get a quality DSL connection, so getting a reliable wire to each (almost) access point will be a serious challenge;
To cover 1 square kilometer you would need dozens of Wi-Fi access points, each requiring a pole to be mounted, uninterrupted power, Internet backhaul wire, protection from the elements and vandals; One look at the condition of our public CCTV surveillance systems and it will be a wonder if the access point survives the first week;
And then there is the issue of reliable power for each of these access points, sprinkled all over the city. One of our customers (who had installed several outdoor power systems to fuel their Wi-Fi business) summarized the situation quite well “our biggest challenge was protecting the UPS batteries from being stolen from the pole…” ;
Right-of-way from civic authorities to use the poles and permission from homeowners to install and then service the access points is another huge challenge. Unlike mobile towers, you need equipment every 100 meters or so and with prevailing health concerns, fancy getting those;
And then there is the user experience. I have tried and mostly failed to login to the hotspots that exist. It works well in hotels and some airports, but tried a coffee shop recently? No wonder India’s 75 million broadband connections are really 60 million USB data dongles (TRAI Sep 2014).
So seriously, our government wants to do all this for free?
Let’s call the Singaporeans
Singapore recently revamped its decade old Wireless@SG Wi-Fi network, free for citizens & visitors. It was built almost entirely through government grants and operated by a chosen few small service providers. Ask any Singaporean and they will tell you how poor the network used to be.
The Singapore government has now turned to mobile operators (such as M1) to build and manage Wireless@SG. Are the people being served? Time will tell, but Singapore doesn’t have the answer yet. So will Delhi succeed where Singapore failed?
I think the people would be better served by:
Increasing landline broadband connectivity – believe it or not, India has only 15 million wire based broadband connections serving 304 million broadband users; With bigger bang for their buck in mobile, operators are simply not investing in wires. Wikipedia says 13 million wires against China’s 175 million
Give every citizen of Delhi free 30 minutes worth of 3G data instead. Everyone already has a cellphone and USB data dongles are cheap for those wanting to connect their laptops. The mobile infra is in place and reliable.
Develop every government office as a free hotspot for citizens
Partner local businesses to develop small Wi-Fi zones & hotspots in public private partnership by incentivizing local businesses