Homeowner associations are often tasked with maintaining the well-being of an entire neighborhood. Thus, there will be important information stored on their databases. These include lists on the homeowner association website, contact information for residents, financial data about the association; and records about the homes in the neighborhood. Luckily, associations can take steps to ensure this data is not easily accessible to those that might be after it for personal gain.
The HOA’s Information Security Policy
With so much HOA data being frequently exchanged between members, associations must develop an information security policy to protect all data related to the HOA. The board should provide a detailed explanation of what information is protected by law or regulation following the HOA’s regulatory requirements, which must be posted on the homeowner association website.
In particular, they should assess the current IT structure within the HOA and understand which vulnerabilities need to be addressed to provide adequate protection of the integrity, confidentiality, and availability of data. They should also establish policies that address how data should be stored, who has access to it, and specify what happens if the system is hacked.
Review Security Laws & Regulations
HOA’s review applicable federal, state, and local laws to determine the scope of their obligation to protect key information. Especially when protecting financial information, it’s crucial that the HOA only ask for what is necessary. On the homeowner association website, it states there that if the HOA asks for your insurance information, they have to be sure that it is required by law.
Also, the homeowners association must ensure they only ask for the financial information needed. If they request and store unnecessary or sensitive financial details, they could face legal liability in the event someone becomes careless with those details. Like any other association, HOA’s have assets that need to be protected so enforce policies that protect valuable data from all threats as security must come from within.