Since the pandemic started, self storage operators have been under increased threat from cyberattacks.
Storage operators are not alone. All small and medium-sized businesses have endured increased sophistication and frequency of cyberattacks over the last couple years. But as an industry, self storage has been a latecomer to the digital landscape when compared to other sectors like retail. The rush to move to contactless operations and offer online rentals had many storage owners dealing with a level of risk and exposure to cyberthreats that they weren’t quite prepared for.
For storage operators looking to get a handle on their cybersecurity, there are two areas that they should immediately focus on: employee cybersecurity training and a secure password protocol.
The majority of successful attacks are due to weak passwords, human error or a combination of the two. By concentrating on these two things right away, you will greatly reduce the chances that your business is impacted financially by a cyberattack.
Cybersecurity Training for Self Storage Employees
Every email and text communication now carries the risk that the person on the other end of the line is an imposter trying to scam your business. Learning to quickly identify such attacks is a must for any modern storage operation.
That is why employees should be required to complete cybersecurity training at minimum twice a year. Several companies offer online cybersecurity training courses, which consist of short 15- 20 minute courses that can be completed according to the employee’s schedule. These interactive courses provide effective simulations of phishing and spear phishing attacks so that your employees can learn to spot real attempts of fraud in the future.
Strong password protocol is your next line of defense against cyberattacks. Often, the goal of phishing attacks is to get the victim to input their username and password for a particular website. Once one user account is compromised, hackers often can use that to gain access to other accounts. This is much easier when the target has weak password security.
To up your password game make sure you do not reuse passwords among services, or share passwords among employees. Passwords should also be changed every 90 days. When available, 2-factor authentication should always be enabled to further safeguard against infiltrators.
Protecting Your Business from Cyberattacks
When you have a properly trained staff and secure password practices in place, you are well on your way to safeguarding your business from many attacks. But you can’t stop there. As you expand your technology stack to grow your business and reach new markets, strengthening and adding to your cybersecurity measures is an ongoing process.
Al Harris is the editor of the Storage Beat and content manager at Storable. Based in Austin, Texas, Storable is the world’s leading provider of self storage technology, delivering a full suite of products including management software, websites, access control, insurance, payment processing and the internet’s largest marketplace for renting self-storage units. Storable’s mission is simple: to empower storage operators to do more.