The hackers are coming! How to lock down your property management system

Property management systems (PMS) make the job of a property manager much easier. They give you centralized control of your listing content, availability and pricing on all connected booking channels and the best PMS also give you control of the guest experience and staff duties. Like “one ring to rule them all” such power comes with great benefits – however, this power can be grossly misused if it falls into the wrong hands.

A hacker, once into your PMS account, could make fake bookings or steal guest info from ALL your portals and reservations! PMS are popular targets for hackers because they contain tons of personal information.   Worryingly, some of the least secure systems still store credit card data of both visitors and property owners.

If you use a PMS to manage properties or information, or you want to start using one to make your job easier, make sure it is not easily vulnerable to security threats and that it does not store financial data.  No PMS is fully invulnerable but a good one offers several ways that can help ensure that your data is as protected as it can possibly be.

Use Two-Factor Authentication for Security

The most common attack is phishing where a hacker tricks you into revealing your password and then logs into your account.  This type of attack used to be very common but now there is a simple way to prevent it. Read on.

All parts of your PMS are password protected. But, one password is not enough. Instead, use a system that supports two-factor authentication to access any data or information — and DO turn that feature on!  Two-factor authentication is a two-part process for accessing a secure platform; so, for example, you may get an SMS message with a code that you have to enter correctly after you have successfully entered your password. Two-factor authentication helps ensure a hacker can’t get into your PMS, even if they are able to steal your password.

In addition to using two-factor authentication,  Use a strong password for your PMSbe smart about the passwords you choose. Use a different password for every place you have to enter one and make sure that it is at least 20 characters long and that it contains numbers, characters, uppercase letters, and lowercase letters. You can use a password manager to help you keep track of them. Also, make sure you change your password at least every six months, to ensure that they are as strong as possible.

 


Be Careful About Who Uses the PMS and How

Set up roles for your staffAre you giving too much access to your PMS account to too many people? Use a PMS that supports ROLES and allows you to give limited access to different people on your staff. A PMS with roles allows you to control who can access the PMS and what they can access in it, so you can ensure only providers, staff, and property owners can get into the program–and only get into the parts they need to see.   

 

 


Only Use it On Secure Networks

Make sure that you only access your PMS on secure WiFi networks. This means that you should not access it when you are in public places from your mobile device or on a public, non-password protected WiFi network. Accessing the PMS on an unsecured network may make the system vulnerable to potential attacks by  hackers who use sniffers to “see” the data being exchanged on the network.


Encrypt Personal Data

If you are storing personal data or financial data of guests, make sure that you encrypt it. This means that if a hacker accesses it, they will not be able to make out what it means and use it maliciously. One tool for encrypting data is FileVault. FileVault works on Apple devices and will encrypt data you store on its harddrive automatically.  A top PMS does not store credit card details – most rely on PCI compliant third party payment gateways for this. So your client’s credit card data will not be in jeopardy even if you get hacked.


Talk to Your Team

team communication

If you have team members that use your PMS, they need to be as up to speed about security as you are. Make sure they know how to set and use the best passwords, where and when they can access the system. By keeping your team in the know about cybersecurity, they can be your allies in keeping hackers out.



A good PMS is your best friend. Just make sure you use a secure one so you don’t expose important private information to people who will use it with malicious intent. One such safe software platform for property management is Vreasy. Vreasy, whilst not 100% invulnerable from cyberattack,  offers built-in security features such as full https compliance, two-factor authentication, user roles with limited staff accounts, API keys for integrations, and more. It provides a secure and time-saving way to centrally manage your property management business.

 

 

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