The Security of Hotel Mobile Key

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Nancy   March 14, 2018

When guests arrive at hotel, checking into their rooms mean waiting. However, if the hotel offers mobile key and mobile checking in for guests, that situation will not happen. Some hotels offer these functions to allow guests bypass the front desk, go to their room directly and without waiting via their mobile apps, such as Samsung Galaxy S9 and iPhone X. The door of room will be opened by phone key when the phone touches the lock on the door.

A traditional magnetic key card usually remains an option for guests who prefer it — but a mobile key may safer than it. Chamberland, North America practice lead of SpiderLabs at Trustwave, a security company that protects businesses from cybercrimes, says: “Some magnetic key cards can be copied wirelessly and read by using antennas. And, sure, physical theft is a risk, particularly when hotel guests keep their room number and magnetic key cards together for convenience (thieves need all the information to entry a room).”

Smartphones can be stolen too, but there are some extra measures that we can do with smartphone, such as requiring a separate login for the mobile key app and setting a phone lock that doesn’t come with magnetic key cards. Mobile keys can save time, but they also have some bugs as a new technology. The security of the mobile key depends on the measures that mobile key suppliers or hotels protect their electronic key system properly.

“When people are excited about using mobile key, they also should realize that there are security implications in mobile key at the same time.  Read the news where you can, proceed cautiously and understand what’s happening in the security world .” says Ted Harrington, executive partner at Maryland-based security firm Independent Security Evaluators.

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