Cybersecurity Considerations for HOAs

Homeowner’s associations are tasked with protecting the interests of their community’s members. Typically, this responsibility focuses on the maintenance of members’ homes, but HOAs should remember that their responsibility extends beyond lawn care and amenities. Protecting the sensitive data relating to its members is another one of the most crucial obligations of an HOA — but too often, it’s overlooked, leaving HOAs open to an array of liabilities. If you’re invested in protecting your HOA and guarding members’ information, read on to learn how to amp up your cybersecurity and avoid some of the most common threats.

Formalize All Cybersecurity Policies

One of the biggest cybersecurity liabilities facing HOAs is a lack of formalized process regarding the collection and use of members’ sensitive information. Every HOA will keep records of the names, addresses, and contact information of its members. Some HOAs may even keep payment information on file to allow for the automatic payment of member fees. How is this information kept secure? Who is allowed to access it, and under what circumstances? It’s imperative that your HOA develop official answers to these questions and implement a formal protocol for all matters concerning cybersecurity.

Maintain Better Password Practices

Members’ personal information isn’t the only potential exposure that your HOA may be risking. Weak password practices are also a potential cause for concern if passwords are used to access the aforementioned information. Simply hiding information behind a password isn’t enough. According to cybersecurity experts, passwords need to be both unique and long in order to effectively thwart cyber criminals from cracking the code. You should also avoid reusing the same password for multiple sites and logins, as this can also be a source of liability for HOAs.

Improve the Security of Your Software

Did you know that software can be a liability to your HOA, too? Cyber criminals often target weaknesses in software code to gain access to the computer it’s installed on. Fortunately, most software companies detect these weaknesses and issue periodic updates of their programs in order to patch these problems and reduce the likelihood of compromise. It’s essential that you regularly update all software installed on official HOA devices, then, so that you aren’t left vulnerable to a software-based attack.

Guard All of Your Sensitive Data

Perhaps the most important aspect of cybersecurity for HOA’s is simply locking down data associated with community members. This means that access to data should be heavily restricted and access should always be explicitly justified. Be sure to document all access, too, so that a potential data breach can be traced more easily. HOA insurance is a great tool for minimizing your organization’s exposures and offering protection in the event of a cybersecurity breach.

About Kevin Davis Insurance Services

For over 35 years, Kevin Davis Insurance Services has built an impressive reputation as a strong wholesale broker offering insurance products for the community association industry. Our president Kevin Davis and his team take pride in offering committed services to the community association market and providing them with unparalleled access to high-quality coverage, competitive premiums, superior markets, and detailed customer service. To learn more about the coverage we offer, contact us toll-free at 213-833-6191 to speak with one of our representatives.