Forbes and Sharecare launch health verification for hotels
Forbes Travel Guide and digital healthcare company Sharecare have developed a health verification system for hotels and travel resorts, so that can guests can feel safe during their visits while the Covid-19 pandemic is ongoing.
The VERIFIED® scheme is the world's first health security verification for hotels and resorts, and destinations in 12 countries have signed up so far.
To gain the verification, hotels must verify their health protocols on an ongoing basis across more than 360 standards, including health and hygiene protocols, cleaning products and procedures, ventilation, physical distancing, the guest experience, and health safety communication with guests and employees.
Participating hotels also have the option to track daily employee virus screening results, and provide tools for guests including health screeners and updates on the facility's guidelines.
Once they meet VERIFIED® standards they can display a badge on their official websites and properties to inform travellers.
“Restoring guest confidence is a critical objective for the entire global hospitality industry, especially hotels and resorts” said Filip Boyen, CEO of Forbes Travel Guide.
“To their credit, hotels have invested heavily in setting up health safety procedures, but they have placed the burden of assessing their programs – and assuring individual properties are following them – onto the guest or travel advisor. This conflicts with the guiding principles of hospitality, not to mention the carefree joys of travel.
"By earning the VERIFIED® badge, hotels now have a credible way to broadcast that they are following comprehensive, consistent procedures to heighten health security, certified by a third party.”
So far world-famous resorts including Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas, The Goring Hotel in London, and The Atlantis Palm in Hotel in Dubai are on board, along with hotels in Australia, Costa Rica, Philippines, Mexico and Indonesia, among others.
"While health safety is neither new nor unique to the hospitality industry, the pandemic has put the concept of health security into sharp focus; hotels must be on the leading edge to restore consumer confidence in travel," said Hermann Elger, president of travel, hospitality, and entertainment at Sharecare.
"These verified properties are taking a major step forward not only by creating a culture of accountability for the protocols they have in place, but also by providing travel buyers, corporate travel programs, and individual guests with an industry-wide common denominator identifier to alleviate the overwhelming burden of having to decipher hotel companies’ health protocols on their own.”
Check Point: Securing the future of enterprise IT
Cybersecurity solutions provider Check Point was founded in 1993 with a mission to secure ‘everything,’ and that includes the cloud. Conscious that nothing remains static in the digital world, the company prides itself on an ability to integrate new technology with its solutions. Across almost three decades in operation, Check Point, with its team of over 3,500 experts, has become adept at protecting networks, endpoints, mobile, IoT, and cloud.
“The pandemic has been somewhat of an accelerator in the evolution of cyber risk,” explains Erez Yarkoni, Global VP for Cloud Business. “We had remote workers and cloud adoption a long time beforehand, but now the volume and surface area is far greater.” Formerly a CIO for several big-name telcos before joining Check Point in 2019, Yarkoni considers the cloud to be “part of [his] heritage” and one of modern IT’s most valuable tools.
Check Point has three important ‘product families’, Quantum, CloudGuard, and Harmony, with each one providing another layer of holistic IT protection:
- Quantum: secures enterprise networks from sophisticated cyber attacks
- CloudGuard: acts as a scalable and unified cloud-native security platform for the protection of any cloud
- Harmony: protects remote users and devices from cyber threats that might compromise organisational data
However, more than just providing security, Yarkoni emphasises the need for software to be proactive and minimise the possibility of threats in the first instance. This is something Check Point assuredly delivers, “the industry recognises that preventing, not just detecting, is crucial. Check Point has one platform that gives customers the end-to-end cover they need; they don't have to go anywhere else. That level of threat prevention capability is core to our DNA and across all three product lines.”
In many ways, Check Point’s solutions’ capabilities have actually converged to meet the exact working requirements of contemporary enterprise IT. As more companies embark on their own digital transformation journeys in the wake of COVID-19, the inevitability of unforeseen threats increases, which also makes forming security-based partnerships essential. Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP) sought out Check Point for this very reason when it was in the process of selecting Microsoft Azure as its cloud provider. “Let's be clear: Azure is a secure cloud, but when you operate in a cloud you need several layers of security and governance to prevent mistakes from becoming risks,” Yarkoni clarifies.
The partnership is a distinctly three-way split, with each bringing its own core expertise and competencies. More than that, Check Point, HOOPP and Microsoft are all invested in deepening their understanding of each other at an engineering and developmental level. “Both of our organisations (Check Point and Microsoft) are customer-obsessed: we look at the problem from the eyes of the customer and ask, ‘Are we creating value?’” That kind of focus is proving to be invaluable in the digital era, when the challenges and threats of tomorrow remain unpredictable. In this climate, only the best protected will survive and Check Point is standing by, ready to help.
“HOOPP is an amazing organisation,” concludes Yarkoni. “For us to be successful with a customer and be selected as a partner is actually a badge of honor. It says, ‘We passed a very intense and in-depth inspection by very smart people,’ and for me that’s the best thing about working with organisations like HOOPP.”