New research from Cornell University and FreedomPay reveals


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, November 11, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) –

New data released today by Cornell University’s Center for Hospitality Research and FreedomPay, a global leader in data-driven commerce, reveals that while nearly all (96%) surveyed retail stakeholders , restaurants and hotels have confidence in their company’s internal risk assessment processes, their satisfaction (95%) with regard to the security of their systems is out of step with reality, since a third of companies (31%) have experienced a data breach in their business history. Of the businesses that were raped, 89% were hit more than once a year, and 69% of retail businesses were raped more than three times a year.

Check it out, please! How foodservice, retail and hospitality businesses deal with cybersecurity risks – a joint study between Cornell and FreedomPay – is based on a new survey of small, medium and large businesses in the hospitality industry, retail and food and beverage.

“Especially over the past two years, cybersecurity has been a priority for businesses as we navigate a very complex e-commerce network,” said Chris Kronenthal, president of FreedomPay. “Retailers and hospitality companies increasingly see their payment systems as more than just transaction processing – they are important sources of customer data and information. Merchants and consumers alike need the assurance that this data is protected and managed properly.

“These findings provide a basic understanding of how key decision makers manage cybersecurity issues and offer key insights to optimize and strengthen systems as we pursue this path of accelerated digital transformation,” said Professor Linda Canina, director of Dr Michael Dang. Cornell Peter and Stephanie Nolan School of Hotel Administration Center for Hospitality Research.

Threats increase, complexity abounds

With the emergence of new cyber threats every day, both internally and externally, business leaders are juggling a full list of concerns and challenges. Threats such as payment integrity (59%) and malware (58%) are the most cited concerns, with risk management (57%) cited as the biggest challenge facing executives. Businesses also fear insider threats, with hotel companies most often citing human error (86%) and lack of employee training (81%) as negatively impacting cybersecurity systems.

The best efforts of businesses to protect themselves and their customers are driving the increasing complexity and proliferation of systems. The results revealed that three-quarters (74%) of businesses use more than one cybersecurity system. Mid-sized traders (80%) are significantly more likely than small traders (67%) to use more than one system. More than half of businesses (56%) have many cybersecurity systems in many locations. Overall, companies are divided as to whether systems are governed by one department (51%) or multiple (49%). Small traders (57%) are significantly more likely to entrust governance to a single department, while large traders (63%) are significantly more likely to have multiple departments involved.

Roadblocks remain

Businesses are challenged to balance security and customer preferences, and many are implementing enhanced cybersecurity measures to make their customers feel more secure and reassured when making a purchase. The study found that 91% of companies believe their customers care deeply about cybersecurity while 86% believe it increases customer loyalty. Yet businesses recognize the inherent tradeoffs – namely, two-thirds (65%) of executives think customers are annoyed by additional security measures, and they want systems to be easy to use (67%).

Budget concerns can also play a role in determining potential system improvements – among the few (15%) who currently do not have plans to improve their system, they are more likely to cite preventative costs (61%) and a reluctance to have a service interruption (52%).

Despite these hurdles, companies said they were increasing or had increased their IT budgets, labeling the pandemic COVID-19 and the technology as engines. Other notable results include:

  • In the dark: More than a third (35%) of executives surveyed do not know how much of their company’s budget is spent on cybersecurity.
  • Bicameral notice: While 91% of respondents agree that their customers be careful on cybersecurity, 48% also believe that their customers do not care on cybersecurity.
  • Inaction: Almost all companies (96%) say they appreciate the importance of security systems in protecting their data, and 85% agree that their customers would be more satisfied if they had implemented additional security measures. Yet half (50%) have either not increased their IT security budget or decreased their budget since 2019.
  • Show me the money: Still, companies are divided on which precautions and advice are worth the cost. Four-fifths (83%) of companies that use a third to manage and secure information say this option is “more profitable” for their business, while half (51%) of businesses who do not use a third-party vendor cites it as “more expensive” than their current process.
  • Check the box ? Almost all marketers (91%) are very or extremely confident that their business is adequately training end users, relying on conferences and seminars (71%) to keep them trained and engaged. Notably, small (92%) and medium (95%) marketers are significantly more confident than their large (79%), where the most common form of end-user engagement comes from training videos (82%) .
  • Looking for a chef: A majority of companies (87%) say they would welcome the involvement of the US government in addressing cybersecurity threats as well as improving policy (84%). Large merchants (threats-76%, political-74%) and retail companies (threats-81%, political-75%) are significantly less likely to want the US government to get involved.

Click here to download the report.


The survey was conducted by Hanover Research and included 300 respondents from small, medium and large companies in the hospitality, retail, and food and beverage industries.

About FreedomPay

FreedomPay’s Next Level Commerce ™ platform transforms existing payment systems and processes from legacy to the forefront. As the first choice for many of the largest companies across the world in the areas of Retail, Hospitality, Accommodation, Games, Sports & Entertainment, Foodservice, Hospitality, education, healthcare and financial services, FreedomPay’s technology has been uniquely designed to deliver rock-solid performance in highly complex environments. global trade environment. The company maintains a world-class security environment and was the first to achieve the coveted PCI Security Standards Council validation against the point-to-point (P2PE / EMV) encryption standard in North America. FreedomPay’s robust payments, security, identity and data analytics solutions are available in store, online and on mobile and are supported by rapid API adoption. The award-winning FreedomPay commerce platform operates on a single, unified technology stack across multiple continents, enabling businesses to deliver a next-level innovative experience on a global scale.

About the Cornell Center of Hospitality Research

Cornell’s Center for Hospitality Research (CHR) was established in 1992 with the aim of expanding both the quality and volume of research supporting the hospitality industry and its related service industries. CHR’s mission is to advance thought leadership in the hospitality industry by publishing and disseminating impactful and actionable research that industry leaders can put into practice today; facilitate the exchange of new ideas by bringing together students, faculty and industry professionals at roundtables, panels, conferences and other engaging events; and in partnership with other Cornell Nolan School of Hotel Administration centers and institutes to maximize research, event and networking collaborations.

  • New research published by FreedomPay and Cornell University’s Center for Hospitality Research


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