An effective immersive cyber security awareness learning platform for businesses in the hospitality sector

Authors: Holdsworth, J. and Apeh, E.

Start date: 4 September 2017

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Authors: Holdsworth, J. and Apeh, E.

Journal: Proceedings - 2017 IEEE 25th International Requirements Engineering Conference Workshops, REW 2017

Pages: 111-117

ISBN: 9781538634882

DOI: 10.1109/REW.2017.47

© 2017 IEEE. The rapid digitalisation of the hospitality industry over recent years has brought forth many new points of attack for consideration. The hasty implementation of these systems has created a reality in which businesses are using the technical solutions, but employees have very little awareness when it comes to the threats and implications that they might present. This gap in awareness is further compounded by the existence of pre-established, often rigid, cultures that drive how hospitality businesses operate. Potential attackers are recognising this and the last two years have seen a huge increase in cyber-attacks within the sector. Attempts at addressing the increasing threats have taken the form of technical solutions such as encryption, access control, CCTV, etc. However, a high majority of security breaches can be directly attributed to human error. It is therefore necessary that measures for addressing the rising trend of cyber-attacks go beyond just providing technical solutions and make provision for educating employees about how to address the human elements of security. Inculcating security awareness amongst hospitality employees will provide a foundation upon which a culture of security can be created to promote the seamless and secured interaction of hotel users and technology. One way that the hospitality industry has tried to solve the awareness issue is through their current paper-based training. This is unengaging, expensive and presents limited ways to deploy, monitor and evaluate the impact and effectiveness of the content. This leads to cycles of constant training, making it very hard to initiate awareness, particularly within those on minimum waged, short-term job roles.This paper presents a structured approach for eliciting industry requirement for developing and implementing an immersive Cyber Security Awareness learning platform. It used a series of over 40 interviews and threat analysis of the hospitality industry to identify the requirements for designing and implementing cyber security program which encourage engagement through a cycle of reward and recognition. In particular, the need for the use of gamification elements to provide an engaging but gentle way of educating those with little or no desire to learn was identified and implemented. Also presented is a method for guiding and monitoring the impact of their employee's progress through the learning management system whilst monitoring the levels of engagement and positive impact the training is having on the business.

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