Home Omni hotels experiences nationwide IT outage

Omni hotels experiences nationwide IT outage

April 3rd – Since Friday, the Omni Hotels and Resorts chain, which owns more than 50 different properties across the United States, Canada and Mexico, has been experiencing a widespread system outage.

While the company’s website was initially rendered inaccessible by the outage, it has since been restored with a prominent alert warning visitors of “technical difficulties” due to ongoing system issues.

Reports from customers indicate that while the hotels remain open, front desk staff have struggled with new reservations, credit card payments and modifying existing bookings. One customer claimed significant delays in the ability to unlock room doors, noting that it typically takes staff 30 minutes or more to simply get guests into rooms.

Ostensible cyber attack

While Omni has not specifically called out the cause of the issues, the company has noted that their IT teams are working to restore offline systems. The widespread impact and system restoration efforts suggest that the hotel chain may have encountered a cyber attack.

Some employees have been told that systems will not be restored in entirety until Thursday, as servers will need to be rebuilt manually.

Actionable best practices

To avoid a situation like this, ensure that your organization adheres to the following cyber security best practices:

  • Incident response plan. Maintain a robust and tested incident response plan that accounts for a variety of attack vectors and system failure types.
  • Network segmentation. Implement network segmentation and limit communications between IT/OT systems to approved pathways only. This can help reduce the spread of incidents.
  • Backup strategy. Frequently test backup restoration to ensure that backups remain usable. Maintain offline backups to avoid compromise in case of an attack.
  • Third-party diligence. Closely assess security of any third-party vendors with access to your systems and data, ensuring that they resolve any vulnerabilities.

Be proactive about cyber security fundamentals and response preparedness. For more cyber resilience insights, please see CyberTalk.org’s past coverage, explore this eBook or click here.

Lastly, to receive cutting-edge cyber insights, groundbreaking research and emerging threat analyses each week, subscribe to the CyberTalk.org newsletter.