You read about the security breaches caused by hackers that occur almost every day. These occurrences are spreading across the cyber landscape so frequently that it hardly causes a ripple in the news. According to the 2015 Cyberthreat Yearbook, successful cyber-attacks on businesses of all sizes have increased by 144% over the past four years. And, according to the cyber experts, no big surprise, the multifamily housing industry is a very target rich enterprise if there ever was one. This industry is not immune. Welcome to the 21st century! Apartment communities are rife with personal information, so extra precautions should be taken to secure those details.

According to the cyber security specialists, these hacks are not happening because hackers are just too smart and sophisticated for the industry to defend against but it is because of human error. Nearly, every breach that is successful is because of some failure inside a company, whether it was poor email training or IT maintenance.

Many of the most costly data breaches are the direct result of human error; something like an employee clicking on a link in a phishing email or connecting an infected personal device to a company network. That is why properly training personnel and implementing best practices is the best way to keep your company’s and your residents’ data safe.

Steps that can be taken that will help deter the majority of cyber-attacks include establishing technology protocols to avoid accidental breaches, such as falling for email phishing scams or connecting to infected personal devices. Adding security measures such as multifactor authentication for key systems, always use https sites, and perform regular inspection and maintenance of information systems. Vet vendors, as well, to make sure they are following security best practices and storing your data securely.

Lastly, make sure you have a plan in place to respond to a suspected breach, lock out hackers once a breach is suspected and recover data that may have been compromised. Remember that the cyber security landscape will keep changing as will the threats and security challenges that an increasingly connected world creates. By maintaining vigilant awareness, keeping security policies updated, and regularly training users about current threats and vulnerabilities, property managers can effectively keep their own and their residents’ data more secure.