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Spotlight on Cyber Security in Your Property Management Offices

By Sandra Zimmerman

cyeber_security_in_your_property_management_officesThe risk of cyber attacks ranging from stealing information to spreading malicious viruses, is something that the business world has been dealing with for a number of decades now. Even the largest, most well-known companies that have an abundance of resources on hand are not immune, as breaches in security and the theft of their customers' data frequently make news headlines. For that reason most organizations already have protective measures in place such as firewalls, anti-virus software and the use of passwords to restrict access to authorized personnel.

Think your business is too small for cyber criminals to bother with? 71 % of cyber-attacks occur at businesses with fewer than 100 employees.

Property management businesses are particularly vulnerable when it comes to cyber crime, as your computer systems hold the financial and personal contact data that your customers have entrusted you with. Not only that, this information is the core of your business — so if it's lost or held for ransom, it will be very difficult, if not impossible to resume business operations.

Find out how technology can make life easier for your customers, your staff, and YOU! Download a free copy of The Property Manager's Guide to Technology in the Management Office.

Follow these basic steps to protect your property management business from cyber attackers:


1. Know the risks

Stay on top of the ever-evolving methods and motives that hackers may have for gaining entry into your system. Start by learning the most common fraud schemes and threats; Cyber Crime: What every business needs to know.

2. Educate employees

Make sure that all staff including new hires are well versed in the warning signs, safe practices and emergency response to a suspected breach or attack. And remember that the first line of defence for individual users is secure passwords.

3. Keep software updated

Ensure that anti-virus software and other security applications are kept up to date to help protect against the most current threats. Learn about The Best SaaS Endpoint Protection Software of 2016 for small to mid-size businesses.

4. Always have a backup

Back up important data daily to an offsite location that cannot be infected or breached through your office network. Keep in mind that if your data is backed up to the cloud, it is also accessible to cyber attackers. Using a property management SaaS solution that has a secure hosting service is the safest bet, as it provides redundant offsite back-ups of all of your mission-critical business data.

5. Create a response plan

In most cases the plan will include shutting down the network and disabling Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to prevent an infection from spreading. Learn more: Building a Successful Incident Response Plan

Of Special Note: Mobile Devices and Wearable Tech

The growing popularity of mobile devices and the emergence of wearable tech in the workplace introduces yet another level of challenge in keeping your organization protected against hackers, information leaks and other risks.

Although some enterprises with a fairly large team out in the field may supply fleet devices such as tablets and SmartPhones, the trend seems to be going towards employees bringing their own devices (BYOD). Therefore it’s of utmost importance to have a BYOD policy in place in order to protect the data that customers have entrusted you with. A BYOD policy should cover issues such as;

— what type of devices are permitted
— the use of secure passwords
— what will happen in the event of a security breach
— what apps can be used and what websites can be accessed
— exit strategy for when an employee leaves

As with many things in life, the best defence against cyber criminal activity is a good offense. Proactively follow the advice above to help ensure that your property management business is not an easy target for cyber criminals and so that you are able to resume business operations as quickly as possible following an attempted breach or attack.

The Property Manager's Guide to Technology


Find out how technology can make life easier for your customers, your staff, and YOU! Download a free copy of The Property Manager's Guide to Technology in the Management Office.


Tagged Blog, Technology, Property Management

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