Data security is always a challenge, for the property industry as much as anyone else.
But how can you keep your information secure when people are working from home (or indeed from anywhere)?
And as the industry really starts to heat up, it could increasingly become a target. Taking steps now to protect yourself is more important than ever.
It’s tricky, but here are six places to start.
1) Build comprehensive data-security policies
Take some time to research data security and think about your risks, like:
- How can you guarantee employees always use a secure internet connection?
- What happens if a device gets lost or stolen?
- How can you ensure someone no longer has access when they leave the company?
2) Offer regular company-wide training
Policies mean nothing if no one sticks to them.
Threats aren’t likely to be from hackers using supercomputers to break through your encryption – but from one of your people clicking an email attachment.
Have training in place for new starters, and regular refreshers for existing staff. And remember, it’s not just the tech people – it’s everyone.
3) Invest in device and data protection
Most businesses know about antivirus and firewalls, but there’s a lot more needed to keep a modern business secure.
You might want device encryption so that your data is safe if a laptop is lost, or regular backup so data isn’t lost too.
The best tech can really help when things go wrong.
4) Embrace the cloud
That said, you don’t have to do everything yourself, and cloud-based software often offers a lot of advantages:
- It’s not a device, so it can’t be lost
- It’s often hosted by companies with world-class security
- It’s easy to access from anywhere
- It’s instantly updated for multiple users whenever and wherever they access it
There are cloud systems for most functions now, so relying on a dedicated tool can offer some quick wins and added peace of mind.
5) Actively discourage password sharing
Sharing passwords can seem like a money saver, but the security issues mean it’s rarely worth it.
For instance, are the passwords being shared over unencrypted email or text messages?
Do people remember them by writing into a spreadsheet (or worse – a sticky note on their screen…)?
And is that password just used for that shared login, or could an employee be using it for something else too, offering a much bigger threat?
6) Ensure providers take security as seriously as you do
You can try and keep your system as secure as possible, but if one of your providers lets you down, the result is the same.
Rather than generic statements about security, look for suppliers who meet objective standards – for instance at LandTech we’re ISO-27001 certified, which means we are independently audited every three years, with an annual review.
One effective way to ensure providers take data security seriously is to ask for a security posture document.
Often you can learn as much from their reaction to you asking as from the document itself.
Remote working is here to stay – but it needs to be done securely
As the property industry moves into a world of remote working, there’s a chance to unlock big boosts in employee satisfaction and productivity.
But that can’t come at the expense of security.
Making sure you have the right tech, being used in the right way, is often all it takes.
We’ve worked with a lot of property developers since the start of the pandemic, helping them to source and evaluate sites anywhere in the country, from anywhere in the country,
Chris Fleck, CTO, LandTech is the Chief Technology Officer at LandTech, bringing his 30 years of experience to keep their tools, data, and security at the cutting edge of the industry