Advice and Opinion PropTech

Property managers can do their part by being cyber smart

Johann van der Merwe, the CEO of WeconnectU.

As our lives have become increasingly dependent on technology, virtually all personal and business data is kept on internet-connected platforms which can become a gold mine for bad actors. In addition to this, phishing attacks and scams have thrived since Covid-19 began last year and today, they account for the largest part of reported security incidents.

For businesses in property management, this means building security into software products and processes. “Make cybersecurity training a part of employee onboarding and equip all employees with the tools they need to keep your organization safe” comments Eric Lundberg from Redshift Cyber Security.

For individuals, keep cybersecurity at the forefront of your mind as you connect daily. Before purchasing a device or online product, do your research. When you set up a new device or app, consider your security and privacy settings and update default passwords. Cybersecurity should not be an afterthought”.

Lundberg will be a guest speaker at a milestone event in the form of a webinar hosted by WeconnectU, the rapidly growing property management software solutions company who is celebrating 500 000 property units under management on its cloud-based platforms this September. The company will also be introducing major new system features during the webinar.

Lundberg says the webinar will not only focus on data security for the property management industry but will also look at the benefits of online property management software to mitigate cyber risks. He will look at best security practices and general cyber hygiene to keep your information safe and the relevance of cyber security in terms of major compliance drives like the new POPIA legislation.

We need to be aware of why data security is important for the property manager. If we look at the exchange of volumes of personal information and large amounts of money that change hands in the property industry, it is a highly targeted sector of the economy and individuals in the sector need to ensure they are compliant and educated. Data security is an ongoing process, not just a once-off event. It is important that SMEs in the property industry look at what they can do to create awareness in their companies”.

According to Johann van der Merwe, CEO of WeconnectU, if you are living in a sectional title scheme, home-owners association or renting a home or flat the chances are good that your personal information is being managed on a property management software system or used during the property management process.

That makes the property manager or rental portfolio manager the responsible party according to the POPIA legislation, and you are vulnerable if data is not secure. One of the easiest ways for the property manager to mitigate this risk is by using a hosting and management platform that comes with built-in security best practices and tools. Cyber security does not need to be difficult, there are easy wins for SMEs, like leveraging security elements of available tools and implementation of best practice password policies. With so many more people currently working from home on a regular basis cyber security has become every individual’s responsibility”.