SurferQuest CEO Kathryn Koning was featured for Women’s History Month by Maureen Borzacchiello of Maureen Borzachiello Incorporated. Borzacchiello is a women’s advocate, and supporter of woman entrepreneurs. Kathryn is an awesome example of women leaders in business and we are happy to share the interview!
Today, during our celebration of Women’s History Month we are featuring Kathryn Koning- CEO of Global Software Applications LLC
BEST ADVICE EVER RECEIVED: Not to take myself too seriously…and NEVER take no for an answer!
WOMAN WHO INSPIRES KATHRYN AND WHY: I admire my mother, who showed me what never giving up looks like.
I also admire my daughters, who no matter what challenges they face they always push forward , head first believing that anything is possible if you can just see it in your mind.
A celebrity and professional that admires me is Betty White. Why? Because she has shown the world what a feisty, fearless woman can accomplish. She faced many challenges starting a career in a time that women were just starting to be recognized for being more than stay at home mothers and wives. She was regarded as a pioneer of television, she was one of the first women to exert control in front of and behind the camera and is recognized as the first woman to produce a sitcom.
Data breaches within the hotel industry are a growing concern, with hackers targeting personal and credit card information that is collected during a guest’s stay. Last year, hackers breached hotel giant Marriott and had access to the sensitive information of more than 300 million guests. In a second attack, another 5 million guests were put at risk. The year before, MGM reported a data breach that affected over 10 million hotel guests. The pandemic has increased the threat level to data security and hotel fraud is becoming more common.
Beyond the financial ramifications and large liability to hotel chains, identity theft leaves long lasting marks on those who have been targeted. Many people whose information has been exposed and stolen, report long lasting effects including anxiety, financial stress and worry for the security of friends and family members.
Individuals can take precautions to protect themselves, such as using complex passwords, reviewing credit reports and not sharing personal information with unverified sources; but what can be done when this isn’t enough? What measures can hotels take to further protect their guests?
Routinely changing employee passwords and verifying the cloud security of data management platforms could help defend against data breaches and attacks. Further verifying the security measures used by any vendors collecting data is also a key component to defending against potential data breaches.
SurferQuest was designed with this in mind. Currently SurferQuest is serving thousands of hotels, and is installed within many of the large hotel chains we have all grown to love. To date, SurferQuest has never experienced a data breach after over two decades in business. This is due to an important security feature that removes any and all guest information from public devices after each use. Any personal information that has been entered into a guest computer or tablet is completely erased after every use and the device is restored to start state. It is a smaller component within the large scheme of hotel operations, but is one that comes with the guarantee of security and peace of mind. Once it is installed, vulnerable guest devices are one less worry.
While data hacking and breaches may always be a threat, we can all take extra precautions to ensure that it doesn’t happen. Visit http://www.surferquest.com for more information.
As the year comes to a close, we wanted to extend our warmest gratitude and appreciation for everyone we work with. 2020 has been a year of many turbulent changes and uncertainty, but it has brought us all closer together and has reminded us of the things that really matter. Together our resilience has grown, and our dedication to connection our support has deepened. While the year has been a struggle for so many of us, we are grateful for the opportunity to grow and come together as a community, and as human beings.
While we adapt to the many changes that have been brought forth by 2020, we look forward to the new year and the many possibilities that will follow. Change can be difficult to accept at times, but with it brings new opportunities.
From all of us at SurferQuest, we thank you for your loyalty, your friendships, and the opportunity to serve you.
Here’s to a New Year and a new beginning. Happy New Year from the SurferQuest team.
Central Pennsylvania, United States – November 24, 2020
Philipsburg, PA – The Better Business Bureau gives out awards each year to prominent businesses in the community that show a high level of quality in their services. This year, Global Software Applications llc/ SurferQuest, a 20 year old central Pennsylvanian software development company, was nominated as a finalist for the 2020 BBB Torch Awards for Torch Award for Ethics.
The BBB Torch Award for Ethics is an annual award that is awarded to select businesses that display ethical business practices, build a community of trust, and offer outstanding service to their clients. The winners of the BBB Torch Award for Ethics receive public recognition for their work and efforts across several platforms. This award is a symbol to those in the community that the business is committed to ethical practices, and it is a way for businesses to set themselves apart in the community.
The BBB has very high standards for businesses to meet in order to qualify for the award. Applicants are judged by an independent panel from Duquesne University based on the following criteria; excellence, integrity, teamwork, trust, respect, and community involvement. Businesses are expected to show dedication in these essential areas to be considered for the BBB Torch Awards for Ethics.
Kathryn Koning, president of Global Software Applications, had this to share: “It is a true honor to be recognized for all of our efforts to continuously meet the standards the BBB sets for the torch awards. I feel a sense of deep pride having the BBB torch award presented to us at Global Software Applications / SurferQuest, especially being able to share this award to my team. The dedication of our team to promote and foster the highest ethical relationship between our clients and the public is amazing. As a company in the past 20 years we set certain standards as a guide, but when you have a team that exceeds the standards and raises the bar, well that is something to take pride in. It is so important knowing that our clients and companies that we work with will be treated with respect and fairness, it’s more than a guide. It’s a way of life with us.”
Global Software Applications llc/ SurferQuest, was chosen from the pool of nominations based on their commitment to a high level of service and ethics. During the evaluation, Global Software Applications llc/ SurferQuest showed the judges excellence in the way that their company was run, exhibiting passion, fairness and integrity about the work that they do within Hospitality as well as the software development side. The judges were also able to make their decision by evaluating the ways that promoted an atmosphere of belonging, worked towards common goals, demonstrated consistency and fairness with employees and customers, and by the way that they were positively involved in the community. Global Software Applications llc/ SurferQuest completed the vetting process as a finalist in the category of 11-49 employees, establishing the firm as an ethical, trustworthy, and reputable business.
About the Better Business Bureau For more than 100 years, the Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2019, people turned to BBB more than 183 million times for BBB Business Profiles on nearly 5.8 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at BBB.org.
The Better Business Bureau brand is represented by four national and international non-profit organizations:
The International Association of Better Business Bureaus (BBB.org) represents the local, independent BBBs that serve every community in the United States, most of Canada, and a growing number of locations in Mexico. Its foundation is the BBB Institute for Marketplace Trust (BBBMarketplaceTrust.org).
BBB Wise Giving Alliance (Give.org) helps donors make informed giving decisions and promotes high standards of conduct among organizations that solicit contributions from the public.
About Global Software Applications llc/ SurferQuest Global Software Applications is a successful software development company, specializing in self service applications for the hospitality industry since 1999. Beginning with SurferQuest public computer software, GSA has become widely recognized for providing secure business center solutions to many four and five star resorts and casinos around the world.
Since 2001, SurferQuest has been proud to set the industry standard in business center solutions and hotel and guest technology.
SurferQuest is committed to meeting the needs of every hotel it serves with specially designed custom solutions. Every app within SQ’s product portfolio is continually upgraded and tailored to provide only the best for your guests.
Millions of hotel guests world wide have been the victim of a recent data breach. A well known reservation platform has been compromised with identity theft, credit card fraud and vacation stealing. Because of this breach, records and private information dating all the way back to 2013 have been exposed. The records contain full names, credit card numbers, reservation numbers and other confidential information pertaining to guest stays.
I wanted to write about this today because this is exactly why SurferQuest was created, and why we take security so seriously.
Security is of the utmost importance to us and to traveling guests. Nothing is quite as unnerving and anxiety inducing as learning your credit card and banking information has been hacked or stolen.
SurferQuest ensures that public guest devices and business center computers cannot be hacked. After each session the computer reverts to start state, completely removing credit card information, passwords and any other details from within the session. SurferQuest can also block objectionable browser content, protecting you from the liability that can come from guest browsing in a public setting.
There are plenty of things to worry about in 2020, SurferQuest is not one of them. With SurferQuest you can feel confident that guest information is protected.
SurferQuest is proud to attend the Best Western Virtual Convention this year. The team will be showcasing their portfolio of business center solutions, guest technology and covid response products online, October 22 – 27.
The last few months have been full of changes and the way we do business as a society has shifted. Because of the shelter in place orders we all followed in March, many businesses have taken a financial hit and many more still have shuttered permanently. The hotel industry was halted to a stop due to travel restrictions and hoteliers are only now starting to slowly restore occupancy rates.
The needs of the hotel industry have not lessened, even though travel has. Hotels still need towels, clean sheets, breakfast and a protected business center. This can be hard to budget with lower revenues, and the SurferQuest team understands that you need a price to match your current budget.
Leaving computers unprotected can lead to costly viruses that corrupt your machine and make it unusable. Repairs can cost hundreds of dollars and can get tricky without the guidance of a knowledgeable IT person. By making one small annual payment, SurferQuest will protect you from the cost and headache of future damages as well as protect your guests from identity theft.
To further protect guests, SurferQuest is now providing a line of business center disinfecting solutions to combat transmission of the virus. Keeping you, your staff and your guests protected all around is our top priority.
We stand with the hotel industry and look forward to what the future brings. Give us a call for a consultation and take advantage of the lowest price in the industry.
We share your concerns regarding the Coronavirus, (COVID-19), knowing that many individuals, families, and businesses will be directly affected. We are taking this opportunity to reach out and let you know what SurferQuest is doing to make sure that you and your guests receive the reliable, secure products and services that are the hallmarks of the hospitality industry.
In times like these, the guests ability to communicate and have their information kept secure is of utmost importance. That will not change. SurferQuest technical support for business center and guest engagement solutions will continue to be offered as a live, phone and email service that is accessible 24/7/365 for staff and guests. Projects that have been undertaken to improve communication and enhance guest safety are moving forward. Those individuals and property management company representatives interested in obtaining more information are still able to access our knowledgeable sales reps, while we have enacted programs for those interested in installation and purchase to support the hospitality industry in its recovery.
SurferQuest has postponed attending large scale events. Due to technological safeguards we have in place. our team members are able to work from home to limit exposure to the COVID-19 virus . This is vital, especially for those with pre-existing conditions and their families.
Monitoring updates from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) concerning COVID-19 will continue. Member safety and client service are of the greatest importance. We will continue to improve our products and processes as well as update our policies accordingly.
In everything, please be kind. We wish all of you the very best.