HAI Group Blog

Insurance, Risk Management, and Professional Development Tips for the Affordable Housing Industry.

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Cybersecurity

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4 Tips to Protect Your Affordable Housing Organization From a Cyberattack

Keeping information safe and secure is a challenging development for businesses of all sizes over the last few years, including public and affordable housing organizations. Expeditious shifts from in-person to online to hybrid workplaces forced companies to change, or at least reexamine, their cybersecurity practices and protocols, and far too often they weren’t prepared. 

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Denver Housing Authority Ransomware Scare Title Screen

Denver Housing Authority's Ransomware Scare: The Anatomy of a Cyberattack

The staff at Denver Housing Authority (DHA) weren't blind to the possibility of a cyberattack.

In fact, staff had taken steps in 2021 to address the organization's cybersecurity vulnerabilities, said Jim DiPaolo, DHA's deputy CFO. But in September 2021, disaster struck—DHA was completely locked out of the files and systems it relies on due to a ransomware attack. 

"We had a fairly good business continuity plan," DiPaolo said during a June 2022 interview with HAI Group. "We were backing up our systems, and felt that we had a fairly strong [cybersecurity] program that wasn't going to be open to this type of threat."

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Cybersecurity 101: Simple and Effective Password Tips

We tend to fancy our passwords as undecipherable, but the data clearly shows otherwise: 60% of the breaches analyzed in Verizon’s 2021 Data Breach Investigation Report leveraged weak or stolen passwords. Cybercriminals aren’t just guessing our passwords; they’re making well-informed guesses. They can use several methods and tools to hack passwords, such as programs that record keystrokes, social engineering (e.g., phishing), and password dictionary databases with lists of the most commonly used password phrases.

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Does My Affordable Housing Organization Need Cyber Liability Insurance?

It’s common to assume your general liability insurance policy covers cyber liability. The reality is that these policies are separate but equally important in today’s landscape. General liability coverage protects housing organizations from a wide range of exposures, including injuries and property damage, but isn’t designed to handle the nuance of cyber risk.

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6 Real-Life Ransomware Attacks That Shocked Affordable Housing and Public Sector Agencies

There’s a spine-chilling uptick in cyberattacks—the FBI received a record number of cyber-related complaints last year, with reported losses of over $4.1 billion. A housing organization might not seem like the most lucrative target for a hacker (compared to a billion-dollar private sector business), but criminals are opportunists.

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