Property Management Company Databases Can Be Targets For Hackers

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Hackers typically target databases that store information about many people, which makes property management company databases attractive targets so this week the Grace Hill training tip takes a look at the issue.

By Ellen Clark

Cybersecurity is critical to the property management industry because of the type, and amount of data collected and used on a daily basis.

The topic of 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.

Cybersecurity and property management company databases how safe are you?

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.

All employees play an important role in creating a culture of cybersecurity within your company.

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.

Read Ellen’s blog post here.

Recent Grace Hill training tips you may have missed:

What Do You Do When Assistance Animals Break The Rules?

7 Ways To Stay Out Of Trouble When Checking Criminal History

5 Ways To Protect Applicants, Residents And Employees From Sexual Harassment

Do You Have A Smoke-Free Policy That Adequately Protects Residents?

How To Handle Suspicious Documentation For Assistance Animals

How A No Pet Policy Can Be Discriminatory

Property Management Cyberattack Risks Overlooked, Underestimated

Do You Know How To Respond To a Sexual Harassment Complaint?

Have You Reviewed Your Criminal Background Checks Policy Lately?

Multifamily Managers And Marijuana: Caught In A Pot Crossfire

Fair Housing Discrimination Against Someone You’ve Never Talked To?

4 Ways To Avoid Screening Pitfalls With Applicants

Red Flags In Evaluating Documentation For Assistance Animals

About the author:

Ellen Clark is the Director of Assessment at Grace Hill.  Her work has spanned the entire learner lifecycle, from elementary school through professional education. She spent over 10 years working with K12 Inc.’s network of online charter schools – measuring learning, developing learning improvement plans using evidence-based strategies, and conducting learning studies. Later, at Kaplan Inc., she worked in the vocational education and job training divisions, improving online, blended and face-to-face training programs, and working directly with business leadership and trainers to improve learner outcomes and job performance. Ellen lives and works in Maryland, where she was born and raised.

About Grace Hill

For nearly two decades, Grace Hill has been developing best-in-class online training courseware and administration solely for the Property Management Industry, designed to help people, teams and companies improve performance and reduce risk. Contact Grace Hill at 866.472.2344 to hear more

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