First Steps for Property Services and Information Technology

We’ve received a lot of feedback from an earlier Stirling post (Property Management, Information Technology and the New Paradigm) about the amount of work required to update Information Technology Infrastructure for today’s world. A few people keyed in on the amount of work required when their Information Technology Projects had taken a back seat to other priorities in the last five years, ten years or forever.

Some had asked for a cheat sheet on what they should do first or what questions they should be asking their property services company about their Information Technology Systems. This list is far from comprehensive – merely first steps, but if Stirling had just taken over a new property or if I was starting from scratch, this would be my initial list of things to check or you can hit your Property Services company up to find out what they were doing in regards to Information Technology:

Do I have a next generation firewall at my offices?

Are my automation systems firewalled and segmented away from my office computers (i.e. postage machines, hvac systems, video directories, card access systems)?

Not very effective anymore, but still a first step, do all my computers have anti-virus protection?

If my computers haven’t been running anti-virus, who will format the hard drive and reset it back to the factory default image, then add anti-virus protection and load all my documents back?

Do we have, at the very least, basic spam filtering to try and eliminate the ZeroHour emails and do we have Sender Policy Framework (SPF) setup?

And finally, this really isn’t about security, but to offer up some lagniappe for the New Year, check into finally getting rid of your old analog telephone system to see what features you would gain and how much you would save with a Voice over IP (VoIP) System. Check into either a legitimate cloud provider or see if your property services company can add you to their system – adding your property to their system should be simple.

Obviously this is a very basic list, but whether your property is managed by Stirling or not, feel free to shoot me an email if you have questions and I’ll try to point you in the right direction. When it comes to Internet Security, we’re all in this together.

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