News Briefs


Cybersecurity Budgets Increase for Retail & Hospitality Industry

RHISAC benchmark survey logo

Information security teams have always had to do more with less, but 2023 might be the year when they are able to do more with more. Riding a three-year trend, 70% of CISOs expect their budgets to increase again this year, while 60% also expect more FTEs, according to the CISO Benchmark Report released by the Retail & Hospitality Information Sharing and Analysis Center (RH-ISAC).

The annual report surveys cybersecurity leaders from consumer-facing industries to assess data about budgets, personnel, and organizational priorities.

The increase in budget and personnel reflects how cybersecurity has grown as a critical part of business operations in many organizations. This year, business disruption emerged as a top 10 (No. 7) risk that organizations currently face, up seven spots from No. 14 in 2021. Similarly, 50% of CISOs now have business continuity/disaster recovery as part of their core responsibilities, an increase of 11 percentage points since last year.

Surprisingly, although fraud in its many forms greatly impacts the bottom line, and continues to be a top risk for organizations, very few CISOs have fraud as part of their core responsibilities, according to the report.  

New this year is an additional benchmark report from RH-ISAC that survey cybersecurity practitioners to understand the challenges and priorities staff have in executing daily job functions.

Key insights from the Practitioner Benchmark Report include:

  • 83% serve more than one job function, which means that employees have a valuable and diverse skill set across security operations (76%), threat intelligence (66%), and risk management (66%)
  • 93% believe they have the necessary skill sets to perform their job effectively

“The retail and hospitality industries are constantly evolving, and so are the cybersecurity challenges they face,” said Suzie Squier, president of RH-ISAC. “The RH-ISAC Benchmark Reports provide valuable insights and actionable information for CISOs and other information security professionals to stay informed about trends and resource allocation among infosec teams.”

The companies represented in the surveys include retail, restaurants, hospitality, travel, and consumer packaged goods/manufacturing companies, and reflect more than 718,000 total locations, 3.4 million corporate employees, and $2.3 trillion in annual sales.

The full reports are available to RH-ISAC members, and summary versions of each report are available to download:

CISO Benchmark Report

Practitioner Benchmark Report


TrustYou Completes Management Buyout, Splits from Recruit Group

trust you logo

TrustYou announced that with backing from reputed technology investor Ventech, they have completed a management buyback of shares in a recent acquisition. As a result, they will no longer be under the umbrella of Recruit Group, a leading technology group based in Japan. In 2017, Recruit acquired TrustYou intending to invest and expand in the international hospitality and travel market. Recruit made moves outside of Japan to discover “Opportunities for Life” worldwide. Established in 2008, TrustYou has grown from a humble start-up and led the way in travel tech with a strong leadership team that appealed to Recruit and their principles of entrepreneurship within their business holdings and a vast portfolio of software companies. Recruit realized the potential of TrustYou, seeing that the software company established itself globally with its unique all-in-one Guest Experience platform.

Recruit was very pleased with TrustYou’s development and sees a strong future as they continue to innovate and focus on the customer journey. Since Recruit’s portfolio strategy no longer aligns with the further growth of TrustYou, the team was very supportive of the management buyout. “The opportunity to include TrustYou in our overall strategy for the last five years was a positive experience for us to lean into the hospitality sector and understand the importance of technology in travel. TrustYou has a strong foundation, and we have no doubt the company will continue to seek innovative solutions to enhance the guest experience,” says Yoshihiro Kitamura, President and Representative Director of Recruit Co., Ltd.

With new ownership comes a new vision for the company. Ben Jost, CEO of TrustYou, states, “We see TrustYou's future in helping hospitality and travel to make guests happy. Today's core focus is to provide a best-in-class platform for hoteliers, DMO's and travel partners to measure and act on guest happiness via surveys, reviews, and guest communication. We will also be very active in acquiring and building more best-of-breed technology and tools to further increase guest happiness and revenue while decreasing operational cost.”

Seeing the value in this opportunity, venture firm Ventech, with the support of Ventech Managing Partner Christian Claussen, and Jan Webering with BauwensX, led the buyout financing. TrustYou founder & CEO Ben Jost is also a significant investor in the acquisition. Rounding out the remaining capital contribution, Ullrich Kastner, Founder and CEO of MyHotelShop, also participated.

“When the opportunity presented itself to invest in Ben and the team, it was an easy decision. We see a clear path to a significant return on our investment and have complete confidence in the team, and product, to deliver outstanding results.” said Claussen.

Jan Webering, former CEO of one of Europe’s largest engineering IT Service companies, Avenga, and the new chairman of TrustYou’s board, said of the acquisition, “The new holding will focus on creating value by developing technologies that support hospitality providers in delivering an exceptional guest experience. The speed by which consumer expectations change will require dynamic and scalable technology solutions to ensure that travel and hospitality companies can consistently deliver a great experience. In the end, we are here to help make guests happy.”


Cloud5 Launches Mitel Subscription Hosted PBX Offering

hotel lobby

Cloud5 Communications, a provider of communications and technology solutions for more than 5,000 hotels, MDUs, and commercial facilities across the Americas, has announced the rollout of its Mitel Subscription offering.

Cloud5’s new Mitel Subscription offering allows hotels to more easily and economically experience the benefits of a cloud-based PBX system. Through this offering, properties can better tailor their telecommunications to the business needs and goals of their property – choosing from a range of Cloud5 supported Mitel products and applications.

This offering also allows hotels to select the commercial framework that works best for the specific economic realities of their business. Customers can choose a CAPEX, OPEX or a hybrid model. This economic flexibility removes barriers to entry and empowers hotels to proactively make critical changes to their telecommunications systems at the point of need.

Additionally, Cloud5’s Mitel Subscription offering includes access to the company’s industry-leading, experienced, Mitel-award-winning engineering, project management, install and support teams.

“We all know that a successful hotel business includes solid technologies and systems that support guest and staff communication and engagement – telecommunications systems are a critical part of this,” said Beth Milano, Senior Vice President of Sales & Commercial Development at Cloud5 Communications. “Cloud5’s Mitel Subscription offering allows hoteliers to adapt new telecommunication solutions and services that fit the parameters and goals of their business – including design, product selection and payment. We look forward to providing the hotel industry with an easier and more effective approach to telecommunications that promises improved efficiency, lower operating expenses and an enhanced ability to elevate guest experiences.”

Cloud5 supported Mitel products and applications contained in this offering include:

  • MiContact Center
  • Mitel Border Gateway
  • MiVoice Business Console
  • Mitel Business Reporter
  • Cloud5 e911
  • Cloud5 SIP
  • SD-WAN w/4g LTE Failover

Cloud5 is the winner of several Mitel awards, including its prestigious 2022 Mitel Hospitality Expert designation as well as Mitel Hospitality Partner of the year in 2021.

Cloud5’s Mitel Subscription offering is part of a full family of telecommunications and network solutions, including the company’s own cloud-based PBX. Cloud5 is proud to offer and support solutions based on the distinct requirements and economics of its customers – ranging from large, complex full-service hotels and resorts to smaller select service properties. For more information about Cloud5’s telecommunications offerings, visit


Palms Casino Resort Introduces Mobile Food and Beverage Ordering Powered by Runtriz

woman using phone at Palms Resort Casino to order food

Palms Casino Resort, an iconic hotel and casino located in Las Vegas, has selected Runtriz, a Radius Networks company and a provider of contactless mobile guest engagement solutions for the hospitality industry, to power their mobile food and beverage ordering platform. When Palms reopened under San Manuel Gaming & Hospitality in 2022, providing the ultimate guest experience was high on their list of priorities. Runtriz has helped deliver that seamless experience for guests when it comes to in-room dining.

Utilizing custom QR codes placed throughout the property, guests can access menus specifically designed for in-room dining from a range of on-site restaurants. With the flexibility of mobile ordering, a guest can place an order while en route to their room and at any time of day. The web-based app specifically created for Palms is easily accessible on any mobile device (laptop, tablet, phone) via QR code or URL. One of the key benefits of the Runtriz Solution is communication - guests can track all orders placed via the app on their mobile device and even request status updates via email or text message.

“We are excited to leverage Runtriz to provide a frictionless way for Palms Casino Resort guests to order food and beverage and have it delivered right to their door,” says Greg Van Stone, Vice President of Food & Beverage at Palms Casino Resort. “We are seeing an immediate lift in guest satisfaction, as the Runtriz interface is easy to navigate and provides a white-glove, personalized dining experience, right in the privacy of their room.”

Another important goal for Palms was to optimize operational efficiency; the Palms team sought to acquire a significant amount of data to inform future decision-making processes. Runtriz offered the tools necessary to gather and track relevant information, enabling Palms to identify trends and implement strategic changes. These modifications not only improved the guest experience but also positively impacted their bottom line.

“We are proud to work with the innovative team at Palms Casino Resort as they reshape their digital experience,” says Alonso Vargas, SVP of Product at Radius Networks. “New technology to better service guests is a huge priority right now in the hospitality industry, and some venues are adapting quicker than others. Palms Casino Resort is investing in technology that will catapult them ahead of the competition and we are excited to be a part of their digital transformation.”


Coral Smart Pool and Leonardo Hotels & Resorts Mediterranean Partner to Pilot Coral’s Drowning Detection Technology in Hotel Swimming Pools

pool at  Leonardo Hotels & Resorts

To bring a new level of safety to pools at hotels and resorts, Coral Smart Pool today announced that it has entered into a partnership with Leonardo Hotels & Resorts Mediterranean to bring MYLO, its industry-defining “virtual lifeguard system,” to the hotel chain.

As part of a pilot program, Coral Smart Pool has installed the MYLO system at the Leonardo Plaza Cypria Maris Beach Hotel in Paphos, Cyprus, to demonstrate the technology.  The second stage of the program will see Coral equip the rest of Leonardo hotels in Cyprus with MYLO.

MYLO analyzes video above and below the pool’s surface for a comprehensive monitoring view, creating an unprecedented level of protection as a virtual lifeguard. MYLO features both an above-ground camera and pressure sensors to identify if a person is entering the pool and can calculate risks. A high-resolution underwater camera detects a sinking person and sends a series of alarms to take action.

Other devices on the market can only identify an entry into the pool and this is simply not enough as 88% of drownings happen with adult supervision and the pool is active. MYLO works 24/7 and after it notifies that somebody entered the pool, unlike all other pool entry warning devices, continues to monitor activity to identify danger or drowning incidents. Accordingly in case of hotel pools, MYLO can provide several layers of protection to be used by the Hotel, for instance in the nights when the pools are not active MYLO can detect an entry to the pool and notify the staff, additionally when the pool is active and there is a person in distress MYLO will notify immediately the Lifeguard or the staff to take action.

“Vacations are meant to be fun and relaxing, but the hotel swimming pools can easily become a dangerous place for young children or inexperienced swimmers. With our proprietary technology, hotels can create several layers of safety and protection for their guests having MYLO monitoring 24/7 every pool in the facility,” said Shadie Bisharat, CEO of Coral Smart Pool. “Partnering with Leonardo Hotels Mediterranean allows us to bring MYLO to the hotel industry in addition to our consumer market. Having Virtual Lifeguard as an inseparable part of the pool experience is our mission, having ZERO drownings is our vision. Whether in the hotel or at home MYLO gives you the peace of mind you need.” 

“Leonardo hotels are always looking for the maximum safety of our guests and this is why we are always looking to implement the most innovative technologies and infrastructure. With MYLO on the watch guests can have greater peace of mind,” says Radu Mitroi, General Manager of Leonardo Cyprus. 

According to Coral Smart Pool, MYLO is the first use-case for “computer vision” in the pool.  With Coral’s computer vision and AI technologies, the pool of the future will be safer, more intelligent and automated - similar to how computer vision enables self-driving cars.  Coral’s computer vision technology will enable future pools to self-manage maintenance, cleaning and energy efficiency. 


Optii Solutions Launches New Business Intelligence Solution

bubble chart

Optii Solutions, a cloud-based hotel operations software, announced that it is launching a new and improved business intelligence solution. The new reporting and insights capabilities will drastically improve its customers’ ability to get the right data served in a way that shortens the data-to-decision time.

The new solution is user friendly and allows for easier and quicker interpretation of key metrics. With data stored in the cloud, users will have access to all reporting on-the-go and at their fingertips with mobile access from anywhere. Reporting, insights, and dashboards will span the full product suite, including Optii’s newly launched Preventative Maintenance solution. Soon, this powerful data solution will be coupled with artificial intelligence (AI) to not only present the data in a digestible format, but also enable AI-driven recommendations based on predictive analytics. As an example, the recommendation engine will draw upon vast amounts of data to recommend the optimal project cycles for maintenance and engineering tasks to extend asset life.

Additionally, with Optii’s focus on time, productivity, and performance, the new solution will allow for greater insight into team member performance, and allow for managers to make quicker decisions to maintain productivity and standards. Enhanced filtering capabilities will allow operational leaders to slice and view data quickly in a way that is most relevant to them, and at the right time.

Dino Pietropaolo, Chief Technology Officer, Optii Solutions, said: “Hospitality is an industry where timing is critically important to the business and guest satisfaction. While Optii has always focused on performance and productivity, our new business intelligence solution will take decision-making to a new level. By giving operators the information they need at their fingertips, we not only improve the decision-making, we improve the impact of those decisions as well. When this data is coupled with predictive analytics and AI, we take hospitality operations to the peak of efficiency and effectiveness.”

Deborah Pevenstein, Chief Revenue Officer, Optii Solutions, said: “Our focus has always been on helping hospitality leaders improve their operations. This new business intelligence solution is a natural evolution of that mission. We know that hotels might not get the opportunity to make a second first impression. So it’s critical that they get it right the first time. By shortening the time from data to decision, we help operators avoid a poor guest experience,and improve the bottom line.“