5 Cybersecurity Tips Every CRE Professionals Should Know

July 31, 2019 | By: Molly Looman
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A data breach or cyberattack can happen at any moment on any person’s device. Depending on the technological set-up of the company, an infection that makes its way onto one person’s account can find its way to the whole system. This can mean data breaches of tenant information, a loss of information on a server or shut down a building if it is integrated with the system. The following tips will help make sure your digital property is as safe as your physical property.  

 1. Create a specific plan if there is an attack 

 If there was an emergency in a building, most employees would know what to do. Companies and buildings often have emergency protocol that they practice and inform all essential parties about in the event of an emergency. The same goes for cyberattacks. Developing a reaction plan will help lower stress, create efficient recovery action and possibly prevent more infection. Along with a reaction plan, a communications plan must also be created and distributed to all parties. If a public breach were to happen, press and the public may come to employees of that company for information. Having a communications plan can protect your company and its employees.  

 2. Keep credentials private 

 This may seem self-explanatory. Don’t share your passwords, logins or other vital technological information with anyone that does not need to know. Even when it is shared, consider changing passwords after an employee has left the company. This also applies to the storage of information. High-security password storage services such as LastPass are great ways to make sure that information stays secure. Password notebooks and notes on a phone may be susceptible to theft.  

 3. Be careful when vendors need to access data 

Having a well-protected system isn’t enough, you have to make sure that all outside parties entering the system are following similar precautions. Be careful when outside vendors require access to your technology and be vigilant for any irregularities during their use. Keep all data-sharing secure between the two parties and consider putting security agreements into a product or services agreement.   

 4. Don’t go “phishing” 

Phishing has been a popular word recently and that’s because it is a frequent tactic used to scam, compromise or infect computers. Phishing is the use of realistic emails, usually, to gain access to or infect a system. To prevent this: 

1. Always verify who the email is from 

2. Don’t click a link you don’t recognize 

3. When in doubt, don’t open the email. 

Opening or interacting with a phishing email can mean major security breaches and possibly a virus on your devices.  

5. Take Preventative Measures 

 Just like with building care, preventative maintenance is always a worthy investment. Install software that provides security sweeps. Maintain and update your firewall strength to ensure data security. Change passwords on a regular basis and follow secure password guidelines. Alert the whole team of security practices and provide a system of reporting if one of your team members does encounter a problem. Being adaptable and up-to-date is how to stay ahead of the problem.  

 Don’t Be Scared. Just Be Careful.   

As cyber threats change and become more prevalent, being vigilant and protective is never a bad option. With the rise of smart buildings and the movement of whole businesses to a computer, maintaining cybersecurity is vital to a company’s staff, tenants and property.