As humans, it is natural to fear what we don’t know. Information is power.
When making the switch from server to a new cloud-based software, it is common to experience a certain level of resistance from some Landlords. Recently, we have been assisting one of our clients with the transition to cloud-based software. Whilst doing so, one of their Landlords advised if they were to make the switch they would pull their property and give to another agency. As you know all we sing the praises of the benefits of cloud-based software. So in response, we collated the below information should you ever come across a similar situation where you experience resistance from your Landlords when making the switch.
Please note we have preserved the privacy of the software in question. No server-based system was injured in the making of this blog.
How to Appease a Landlord with Cloud-Based Software Concerns
Landlord data is more secure in a cloud-based system than on an internal local office server.
Security & Testing
When it comes to testing, it all comes down to security. The weakest point in any business and online logins is having a weak username and password. We have previously sung the praises of LastPass to assist in generating secure passwords for any online software. additionally, Two Factor Authentication which many cloud-based systems offer, provide an additional security measure. Even if a hacker was able to guess the username and password, they need access to the user’s phone for the two factor authentication code.
We have summarised some of the security measures in place for one of the industries leading cloud-based software providers. Their security measures rival those of some of the big banks.
Security Measures of a Leading Online Software System
- 128 bit SSL encryption – the same type of Encryption use by the banks.
- Hosting – the service is hosted by Amazon Web Services (AWS). They also host, Netflix, Spotify and more impressively most divisions of the CIA.
- Lock outs – the software prevents authorised attempts to guess passwords by locking the account for 15 minutes after 3 failed attempts. If the password is guessed successfully, the software will request a 2nd form of authorisation. This two step authentication process comes in the form of a randomly generated code from the users authorised device. So not only do hackers require the password, but also access to their phone.
- Sign-in Notification Email – when the Property Manager logs into PropertyMe from a new computer or mobile device, you will receive an email notification. You can see the device, the browser, the time of access and IP address. This allows you to quickly identify a security breach so you can take action if you don’t recognise the activity.
- Sensitive Change Notification – if sensitive information such as bank accounts change in the system the administrator will receive a sensitive change notification. This allows easy identification of unauthorised changes in account.
- Auto Sign out – after a period of time of non-use, the software will automatically log a user out.
- Two Factor Authentication reset – after a period period of time, the software will ask the user to enter a two factor authentication code again.
To assist with a successful migration to cloud-based software, ensure to implement these steps in the office.
Steps to Ensure your Online Security
Passwords should be a minimum of 12 characters long and exclusive to the software only. Do not use this password for anything else. The password should contain a mix of letters, numbers and special characters.
Two Factor Authentication
Two factor authentication will turn on after migration. Ensure this is in place right from the beginning. All members log in with their password and a numeric code generated by the Google Authenticator application, which is available for iPhone and Android.
Advising your Landlords of these security measures in place with cloud-based software should help to appease their concerns. Cloud-based software is becoming more and more the norm with many agencies making the switch. As with all change, it is only a matter of time…
Jane Morgan is the Director of End of Month Angels, a consultancy firm specialising in Trust Accounting. Jane knows the legislative requirements of running a successful Real Estate office through her 23 years industry experience. Don’t trust just anyone with your trust accounting. Book an appointment with an End of Month Angel today.