Grace Hill Training Tip of the Week
Cybersecurity and Property Management: How Safe are You?
Cybersecurity is critical to the property management industry because of the type, and amount of data collected and used on a daily basis. Cybersecurity was one of the key themes of the 2017 National Multifamily Housing Council annual conference, and property management companies are looking at new ways to safeguard residents’ privacy and protect personal data.
Personally Identifiable Information (also known as PII) is any information which can be used, either alone or with other data, to uniquely identify, contact or locate a person. Although you might think that credit card numbers would be the most valuable information for cybercriminals, it turns out that PII is the most attractive information to cybercriminals.
Property management companies collect, use and store huge amounts of highly sensitive, personal, private data about prospective residents, employees, vendors, and current residents. This includes information found in leases, rental applications and other documents such as Social Security numbers, insurance information, addresses, employment history, and financial records.
Unfortunately, the most commonly collected and stored data in the property management industry is also the most sought after by criminals.
Hackers tend to look for the biggest reward for the least amount of effort, so they typically target databases that store information about many people. The wealth of valuable personal information stored, therefore, makes every property management company a very attractive potential target for hackers.
Like many challenges companies experience, strong cybersecurity traces back to one factor — the people. Many of the costliest data breaches are the result of human error and negligence—either someone clicking on a link in a phishing email without thinking, linking an infected phone or tablet to a company network, or simply losing or having stolen a device containing sensitive data.
How are you training your employees, who are the first line of defense against cybercrime? If you don’t have a training solution in place, there’s no time like the present to think about it.
Cybersecurity is a risk for companies of all sizes and is becoming increasingly important to pay attention to. Cybersecurity can no longer be seen as a concern for only the “IT” department or specialist. All employees play an important role in creating a culture of cybersecurity within your company and protecting the sensitive personal information of all residents, vendors, and co-workers.
The cybersecurity landscape will keep changing as will the threats, vulnerabilities and security challenges created by an increasingly connected world. This is why cybersecurity awareness is so important and implementing best practices can help property management companies keep their own and their residents’ data more secure.
Contact Grace Hill at 866.472.2344 to hear more about the new Cybersecurity course series for employees and supervisors, which is tailored to the property management industry.