By Tara Tallaksen / Published July 2022
Cybersecurity is a necessity for anyone who stores information on computers, software, the cloud, and other technological devices. It’s especially vital for community associations as there are many valuable board documents that must be stored within computer files for reference.Cybersecurity applications, when activated, can help protect computer systems and programs from having their data leaked, stolen, or deleted by hackers. With many board member documents being privately secured from the public, it’s important for community associations to fully understand and be immersed in what cyberattacks are, the different types of cyberattacks, and how cybersecurity can be used as a tool for protection against hackers.
A cyberattack can be defined as an internal attack made by hackers to purposely access private documents and destroy any computer information. There are many different reasons why hackers engage in these actions; however, the two main adaptations revolve around motive and opportunity. Community associations provide a motive for cyberattacks by storing personal documents of board members and other residents. In other words, the access to a vast range of personal documents, like a board member’s social security or bank account, may motivate hackers to conduct cyberattacks. Community associations may also portray opportunities for cyberattacks by having limited resources. For example, a community may not have sufficient technological support, thereby creating an opportunity for a cyberattack to take place.
With technological devices constantly advancing, hackers are always adapting their cyber-strategies to reach a greater audience. With this in mind, there are many different types of cyberattacks. The most prominent types of cyberattacks consist of, but are not limited to, phishing, ransomware, malware, and social engineering.
Phishing is the most prevalently seen type of cyberattack. This involves hackers sending fake emails to people that look identical to other trustworthy emails. The purpose of this tactic is to collect private data, like login information, to access as many personal documents and other resources as possible.
Ransomware is a computer software created by hackers with malicious intent. This software can hold private documents and files saved on a computer system for ransom until a specified money amount has been paid. In other words, this software is mainly used for extorting money. However, even if the ransom has been paid, hackers may continue the ransom and block access to the important documents or files.
Another type of cyberattack software is malware. Malware’s only purpose is to obtain access to all secured documents and ultimately damage the entire computer system. However, there is a multitude of inexpensive malware protection software available that can help keep your documents and computer system safe from this situation.
The last type of cyberattack is social engineering. Hackers can use this tactic to manipulate people into providing their personal information for the sole purpose of accessing one’s private documents and computer software. Social engineering poses a great threat as it can be used alongside the other types of cyberattacks.
With cyberattacks increasing every year, it’s crucial to implement cybersecurity within computer systems to ensure data safety. Cyber-security applications can be programmed to have the authorization to block hackers from accessing all secured documents and files within a computer software. The most used cybersecurity applications within technology are firewalls, antivirus software, encryptions, email security, and network and web scanning tools. Each of these applications are designed for a specific purpose with the same goal of detecting cyber threats and protecting sensitive data information.
In addition to technology software, community associations can reduce cyberattacks through basic cyber hygiene. This can include utilizing strong passwords, consistently changing old passwords, using different types of logins for every account, implementing an authentication factor, and constantly educating board members along with staff on updated cyber practices. Also, it may be in the best interest of a community association to invest in IT support specialists to provide professional services regarding setting up cybersecurity and analyzing overall technology issues.
Marketing and Sales Assistant, Vesta Property Services
Tara Tallaksen is the marketing and sales assistant of Vesta Property Services. She started working for Vesta in amenities as a lifeguard supervisor for about a year before transitioning into her corporate office position. Tara recently graduated from the University of Florida with her bachelor’s degree. She spent her time writing papers and working out. She plans on continuing her career in marketing and always wants to learn more about the field. Vesta’s great career opportunities, team support, and diverse trainings can help Tara achieve her professional and personal goals. For more information, visit www.vestapropertyservices.com.