October 17, 2012

Property Management Data Security

When it comes to data security, property management firms and REITs have access to massive amounts of sensitive information, about their tenants and their buildings. Keeping this data secure from hackers, unforeseen disasters or system failures is critical to ensuring successful operations and avoiding major fallout, which could include bad publicity, lost prospects, move-outs, fines and even litigation.

Cloud-based solutions offer some of the most advanced security measures available. Because these off-site alternatives are still relatively new, some property management firms view them with suspicion. But their fears stem largely from a common misconception that cloud computing exposes companies to security risks.

In fact, property management security can actually be improved by moving to the cloud. It delivers better security and data protection than many large REITs can manage in-house, and for a fraction of the price.

Physical Location Security

Many companies, property management and otherwise, worry about storing their data off-site. Yet the reality is that data centres are more secure than your average property management company.

For instance, the PropertyVista data centre, which offers a range of services – including automated payment processing, online credit checks and lease applications, along with a host of other personalized capabilities – features the following:

  • FM 200 fire suppression system
  • Independent climate control
  • 3-Phase Backup UPS
  • Generator for continuous backup power
  • Secure, electronic access
  • Closed circuit video surveillance
  • Redundant fiber links to multiple Tier 1 providers (running BGP4, IBGP & HSRP)
  • 24×7 monitoring

Server Redundancy

Server redundancy is the practice of having a secondary computer system, or network device, that will automatically take over when the primary server fails. This enables systems to reduce or eliminate any network downtime, offering continuous, uninterrupted service.

The PropertyVista data centre offers state-of-the-art server redundancy. Engineered to house multiple networks with maximum reliability, the centre’s primary network is directly connected via dedicated fiber multi-gigabit links to premium providers, including Tinet, Global Crossing and Bell. If one of our providers fails, traffic is automatically routed through another available provider. Each of the companies is segregated on the server, ensuring that the failure of one won’t affect the others.

PCI Compliance & Data Security

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a set of requirements designed to ensure that property management firms, REITs and other companies that process, store or transmit credit card information maintain optimal security. PCI compliance is administered and managed by the PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC).

PropertyVista offers bank-grade security for your tenants rent payment transactions. Our systems are PCI-compliant, and feature token-based security that ensures secure data and transactions.

Secure Sockets Layer

In addition to being PCI-compliant, PropertyVista products offer end-to-end encryption through Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) technology, ensuring that sensitive tenant credit and banking information is always secure. SSL is a protocol that was developed for transmitting private documents via the Internet. It creates an encrypted link when exchanging sensitive, personal information between a website and a computer. When a browser contacts a secure site, it checks a certificate to authenticate the site, making sure that sensitive data isn’t being transferred to a hacker or imposter site.

The Cloud Offers Increased Security, Easily

Cloud providers deploy best-in-class security to protect against security breaches and failures; they’re familiar with the appropriate regulations, and hold current certifications that property management firms might not. Employing a cloud-based Software as a Service (SaaS) offerings, such as the PropertyVista’s suite of web-based property management products, is the safest way to secure sensitive information, and keep your property management firm running efficiently and effectively.

(Photo Credit: Image by Penningtron, used under a Creative Commons license)

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Kris Boyce

CEO, Greenwin Inc.

Describe your experience in a few words

Property Vista has allowed outstanding efficiency since onboarding 5 years ago.

What do you like the most about the software?

Property Vista’s platform has allowed our operation processes to be more efficient with quality assurance, leasing and communication with our renters.