Here’s what housing companies get wrong about data breaches

Don't fear a cybersecurity breach, prepare for it

Even the best defenses against a cyber attack may fail, but the key is to be prepared for a cyber attack once it does happen.

Security experts continuously caution that it’s not a matter of if but when an attack will happen. The housing industry is no exception to this threat, and thinking otherwise is the wrong approach, experts warn.

Patrick Dennis, president and CEO of Guidance Software, sat on a HousingWire webinar panel last year to discuss the threat of a cyber attack on a company, which, regardless of size, is unfortunately extremely likely, and the threat is only escalating.

Dennis recently expanded on this topic, advising organizations to overcome their inefficient worry over breaches – and even to embrace their inevitability.

Michael Harris, chief marketing officer for Guidance Software, then expanded further on Dennis’ comment in a company blog, noting that data breaches are a fact of life.

“On a conceptual level, this misappropriation of concern comes down to over-valuing perimeter defenses,” stated Harris.

He compared it to building literal defenses and that building higher walls and deeper moats can only get people so far.

“Unfortunately, the common obsession with preventing breaches rather than preparing for them often leaves businesses unprepared, or under-prepared to respond to incidents that penetrate beyond the initial defense,” he said.

So, instead, Harris explained that an organization’s security team should be judged on how effectively they responded to an incident.

He emphasized that an organization should have a response plan in place that involves the entire organization — from the c-suite, to the legal team to the PR and marketing departments.

And the threat of an attack is still growing. Harris added that the universe of LoT (lab of things) devices will hit at least 20 billion by 2020, vastly increasing the attack surface that hackers will seek to exploit.

In other words, more people on more devices means more targets for hackers. Stay vigilant.

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