According to Infosecurity Magazine, nearly 1.4 billion records were exposed in 686 breaches reported between Jan. 1 and March 31 of this year alone. If you think your property management business isn’t at risk of becoming a victim, think again. In fact, these days, it’s no longer a question of if you’ll be attacked, but when. Being proactive about cyber-security can help reduce the risk and also mitigate damages in the event of a breach. Here are a few ways you can keep your digital assets from falling into the wrong hands.
Secure all gateways.
Chances are you wouldn’t leave your keys in the ignition of your car and the doors unlocked. Why? Because that would increase the likelihood of theft. It’s no different with our digital assets. If you aren’t adequately protecting the methods of entry into your network, you are leaving your property management company extremely vulnerable to a potential breach. Start with a strong password policy and make sure everyone is educated on how to keep their credentials safe from hackers. Then, protect your gateways using tools like firewalls, network monitoring software and automated incident response.
Watch those devices.
One of the easiest ways for a hacker to break into a network is via unsecure connected devices. This has become a much bigger risk thanks to the adoption of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies. If your property management company allows employees to use their own equipment, such as smartphones and laptops, make sure you are accounting for those potential points of access by creating and enforcing a strict policy that requires employees to properly secure and protect their personal devices against cyber-attacks.
Always shut computers down.
When your employees step away for a break, do they shut down their workstations? If not, you could be leaving yourself open to potential breaches. Why? Because not all cyber-attacks come from outside parties. To the contrary, one of the most dangerous types of data breach comes from within. All it takes is a disgruntled employee to walk by and see an open laptop that’s logged in, providing unauthorized access to personal data. To prevent this, make sure all of your property management team members understand the importance of always turning off their devices whenever they step away. At the very least, they should be password protected.
Cyber-security isn’t a ‘set it and forget it’ kind of thing. Hackers are constantly changing their approach and upping their game. If you aren’t on top of your internal policies and digital protection methods, your property management company could become an easy target for cyber-criminals. Make sure you have current and relevant policies in place and that you are constantly enforcing those policies. Educate your staff on the risks and how to spot potential threats. Keep up-to-date on the latest in cyber-protection technology. Your diligence will pay off in the way of safer, more secure assets.