How Safe is Your Data?

by John Wilhoit Jr. on

Secure Triangle
Do you know who your data is dating and where it hangs out when you are sleeping? Unlike a clumsy teenager coming home after curfew, our data can sometimes be “out all night” and all day without anyone knowing.

Recently, a CBS news reporter noticed unusual behavior on her home-based work computer. Further investigation discovered that her computer had been hacked and the perpetrators went through extraordinary lengths in an attempt to cover their tracts to avoid detection.

A recent Wired Magazine article claimed the “password is dead” and gave a dozen good reasons to believe it.  Unfortunately, they provided limited alternatives to our present day quagmire of having to rely on a very small string of characters to protect access to our very large information data banks.

Consider also the Army private that provided thousands of sensitive documents to WikiLeaks all from a single laptop downloading on to CD’s and flash drives. How do we control this?  Like violent crime, very often the assailant is known to the victim and our data is made accessible to others by people we know. Thus, the first order of business is controlling access points and the people who must access our records.

Tim McCarver, one of the greatest baseball commentators (in my opinion) rails against people who would have umpires that were born and raised in a certain city from being able to  call baseball games behind  the plate in those cities.  He breaks it down to its most common theme stating “everybody is from somewhere”. His point being these are professionals, let them do their work.

When it comes to data security engage the professionals that work in data security that can tell you down to the brass tact’s how to defend your data, where and how to store your data and remove it from harm’s way whether the harm is man-made or an act of God. This is no place to guess. Let the professionals do their work.

Consider that data protection begins with determining who within your organization has categorical access. The likelihood is that number is much small than exists today. Does every accountant at the firm that performing your corporate and personal tax returns have access to your data? Probably not. Access is restricted to those that must have it to accomplish certain task. In property management, we know the whereabouts of each master-key at all times. To the best of our ability the “keys” to our data and systems should be held to this same standard.

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Multifamily Insight is dedicated to assisting current and future multifamily property owners, operators and investors in executing specific tasks that allow multifamily assets to operate at their highest level of efficiency. We discuss real world issues in multifamily property management and acquisitions. This blog is intended to be informational only and does not provide legal, financial or accounting advice. Seek professional counsel. http://www.MultifamilyInsight.com

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Mike Radice June 24, 2013 at 3:37 pm

While I whole heartedly agree and support the basis for this discussion…unless the discussion is expanded to include the sharing of documents to business partners and third parties… having access security is only part of the answer. There are a few very secure solutions that extend to address the full problem…if you send a document to some one – well ‘off it goes’ they can do with it want they want…big problem without ‘downstream’ protections…

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