Association of Progressive Rental Organizations | America’s Champion for Rent-to-Own

How Safe is Your Business?

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month, a global effort to help everyone stay safe when using technology, whenever and however they connect. The theme for this year is Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart. APRO is proud to champion this online protection and education initiative.

“The pandemic has proven to be a prime opportunity for cyber criminals to find new and different ways to attack organizations and individuals,” said APRO Executive Director Jill McClure. “We want to help RTO companies stay informed on this critical issue, because the cybersecurity and digital privacy of APRO, its members, and their clients are vital to the continued success of the rent-to-own industry.”

Today, connective technology plays a key role in almost everything we do, so our lives and businesses can be suddenly and speedily derailed when cyber criminals and other adversaries use tech destructively. Cybersecurity Awareness Month aims to spotlight security vulnerabilities while providing practical guidance on actions everyone can take to protect themselves and their organizations, including:

Be Cyber Smart — It’s everyone’s job to know and perform basic cyber best practices.

The Facts:

  • The average total cost of a data breach in 2020 was $3.86 million.
  • The average amount of time it took to identify and contain a data breach was 280 days.
  • The pandemic spurred a boom of new data-breach techniques; in 2020, 35% of breaches used new techniques.

Take Action:

  • Create long, unique passphrases for all online accounts.
  • Enable multi-factor authentication wherever possible.
  • Keep your software updated, and keep backup copies of your data both onsite and offsite.

“We upgrade our systems regularly,” said Paul Davis of Nations Rent-To-Own Sales & Leasing. “Then we also make sure we audit them, so we have a frequent security assessment on hand.”

Fight the Phish — Phishing is the number-one gateway to cyber attacks.

The Facts:

  • Phishing scams make up more than 80% of reported security incidents.
  • Malware increased by 358% in 2020.
  • In 2020, phishing was the most common type of cybercrime, with the FBI receiving over 240,000 complaints.

Take Action:

  • Watch for common signs of a phishing scams – misspellings, grammar errors, and odd formatting are all phishing red flags.
  • Think before you click on any out-of-the-ordinary emails, links, or attachments.
  • Don’t hesitate to report suspicious emails or other phishing attacks.

“We installed new firewall appliances at each of our store locations to help keep threats out and minimize any cybersecurity attacks,” said Shaun Rush of Triad Leasing LLC.

Put Cybersecurity First — Prioritize cybersecurity for your business and its people.

The Facts:

  • Almost two-thirds of companies have 1,000+ sensitive files open to all employees.
  • Cybersecurity spend is on-track to total more than $60 trillion this year.
  • By 2029, the cybersecurity job market is expected to grow by over 30%.

Take Action:

  • Build security into your business’s procedures and processes.
  • Include cybersecurity training as part of your employee onboarding.
  • Provide your people with all they need to keep your company protected.

“The best way we minimize our cybersecurity risk is three-fold,” said John Grove from JPG Gun Barrel LP, dba Aaron’s. “We placed firewall hardware into our systems, performed store audits for unapproved devices, and hosted training for our associates.”

Co-led by the National Cyber Security Alliance and the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency, Cybersecurity Awareness Month launched in 2004 as a collaborative effort between government and industry to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity, and to ensure everyone has the tools and resources necessary to stay safer online.

For more information on cybersecurity and ways to protect you and your business, please contact us at

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