Blog | June 24th, 2022

Cybersecurity in Residential Coops and Condos

Cybersecurity in Residential Coops and Condos

It’s no secret that cybercrime is on the rise. In fact, it’s estimated that in 2021, cybercrime has cost businesses $6 trillion per year. That’s a lot of money! And as more and more devices are connected to the internet (known as the Internet of Things, or IOT), the risk of cyberattacks increases. 

Recently, there have been several high-profile cases of IoT hacks, including attacks on elevators, thermostats, and security cameras in residential buildings.  If you’re a property owner or manager, it’s important to be aware of these dangers and take steps to protect your building from cybersecurity threats.

The need for being cyber security-savvy has never been more pressing than now with so many devices connected online – especially buildings which contain valuable assets like computers or networks containing sensitive information about you, staff members, and residents. As hackers grow increasingly sophisticated they’re going after everything imaginable: anything left upsetting could become a prime target if it’s hooked into one of these networks! 

Why is Cybersecurity important in residential properties?

The answer is simple: because of the Internet of Things.

IoT devices are becoming increasingly common in residential buildings, and they offer a wealth of convenience and efficiency benefits. However, they also introduce new cybersecurity risks.

IoT devices are usually connected to the internet via Wi-Fi, which means they can be accessed remotely by anyone with the right credentials. If an IoT device is not properly secured, it can be used to gain access to the rest of the building’s network. This can be done by compromising key-card access, smart door locks, HVAC, or surveillance cameras.

Once hackers have gained access to a building’s network, they can wreak havoc in a number of ways. They can disable security systems, plant viruses or malware, and even steal sensitive data like credit card numbers or Social Security numbers. In some cases, they may even be able to take control of the entire building’s HVAC system, which could be used to release harmful chemicals into the air.

Additionally, with “smart” buildings getting more popular, Building Automation Systems (BAS) use has also increased. BAS are networks of electronic devices that monitor and control the mechanical, electrical, and lighting systems in a building. They are used to improve the comfort of occupants and to save energy. BAS is usually connected to the internet, which means they’re also vulnerable to cybersecurity threats.

In a 2019 Kaspersky Report, it was revealed that 37.8% of 40,000 smart buildings had been attacked by hackers, the majority of whom attempted to takeover computers that control the BAS.

What are the benefits of a cyberattack-ready residential property?

A cyberattack-ready residential property is one that has taken steps to protect itself from the dangers of cybersecurity threats. Having your property’s cybersecurity ensured will help to protect you, your residents, and your business from these risks. The saying “prevention is better than cure” also greatly applies in this situation since investing in cybersecurity can be the difference between a safe and secure property and one that falls victim to a costly and devastating attack.

Some of the benefits of a cybersecurity-ready property include:

  • Increased security: By taking measures to protect your property from cyberattacks, you can help ensure the safety of your residents. This, in turn, can help to create a sense of calm and security in the property.
  • Peace of mind: Knowing that your property is protected from cybersecurity threats can give you peace of mind and allow you to focus on other aspects of running your business. As a result, you are likely to be more productive and efficient in your work.
  • Improved reputation: A cybersecurity breach can damage your property’s reputation and make it difficult to attract new residents. By taking steps to protect your property, you can help maintain a positive reputation. Additionally, If your property is known to be cybersecurity-ready, can help you attract new residents and tenants, as well as retain existing ones.
  • Competitive advantage: As the number of IoT devices in residential buildings continues to grow, cybersecurity will become increasingly important. By taking steps to protect your property now, you can gain a competitive edge over other buildings that have not yet made cybersecurity a priority.

What are some cybersecurity measures you can take?

Here are a few things you can do to help safeguard your property against cyberattacks:

  • Make sure all IoT devices are properly secured with strong passwords, encryption, and security updates/patches. This will help to make it more difficult for hackers to gain access to your devices.
  • Implement cybersecurity measures like firewalls, intrusion detection/prevention systems, and activity monitoring. These tools can help to detect and block suspicious activity on your network.
  • Consider investing in cybersecurity insurance. This can help cover the costs of recovery in the event of an attack.
  • Educate your staff and residents about cybersecurity threats and what they can do to protect themselves. By increasing awareness, you can help reduce the risk of an attack. For example, remind them to never give out their passwords and to report any suspicious activity.
  • Establish an Incident Response Plan (IRP) in the event of a cybersecurity breach. This plan should detail who to contact, what steps need to be taken, and how to communicate with residents. 

Cybersecurity is an important issue for all property owners and managers to be aware of. By taking some simple precautions, you can help keep your property safe from cyber criminals. If you have any questions about cybersecurity or how to protect your property, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re here to help!

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