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Real Estate Cyber Security Risks: How To Avoid Being A Target

More and more businesses are going online to save on extra logistical costs and to engage with consumers in a better way. With growing online presence, businesses and industries become susceptible to threats that lurk on the internet. Cyber security threats are ever escalating as more and more companies and enterprises are potentially at risk to protect their establishment on the World Wide Web. When it comes to the real estate industry, cyber security isn’t a clearly highlighted issue. In this article we will look at the reasons why cybercrimes are a serious hazard to the real estate industry and the ways in which it can avoid being a target.

Real Estate Cyber Security Risks  How To Avoid Being A Target

The need for real estate businesses to be secure online

Physical security of assets like office buildings, shopping centers, houses, condos, apartments, hotels, multiplexes, farmlands and factories have been of utmost concern to real estate executives. Protection from natural disasters, theft and damage are some of the things that are more likely to get discussed in all real estate briefings. Sectors like banking and hospitals have over a period of time improved their cyber security measures as crucial sensitive information about consumers are stored on their servers. Safeguarding this data is now also applicable in the real estate world since businesses are becoming more reliant on digital technology.

You need to be mindful of the security threats from cyberspace. Whether you are managing a real estate business online, letting your customers log in crucial data on your website, or you are a customer, browsing through the internet to find a condo, you need to be secure from online threats. You can check out more information on condo listings and other real estate offerings in the West Toronto area to pick the best option for your investment purposes.

Real estate executives deal with company leases, financial terms and deals, rental applications, systems that have payment card information of tenants and clients. Plus, confidential data is always being passed back and forth while closing a deal through various means like email, mobiles, tablets and cloud-based computing applications. Investment companies and trusts deal with large sums of money online, sometimes with high-profile clients and tenants and cyber attackers can keep a close watch on all the dealings and potentially steal legal information, credit details and financial secrets from such parties. Agencies associated with realtors like service providers, infrastructure and logistics bodies also pose a threat as vulnerability in cyber security systems of one organization may endanger the others.

Cyber security threats to real estate world:

Malicious Emails

Scammers try to pick a real estate company to steal from and in order to succeed in their vicious plan they send an email to those who are associated with that firm. Potential targets could be employees or consumers. Fraudsters mask themselves as someone of a senior post, like a CEO. These emails try to convince the receiver of depositing a certain amount into a bank account or in a fund. The allurement could be by way of giving them a promise of a higher investment return or a down payment for a property. People unaware of the dangers could deposit the money into the hoaxers’ account. You can also fall into this trap from fake mortgage claiming companies who can send you emails to wire some amount and settle your mortgage claims.

(How Your Real Estate Business Can Avoid Being a Cyber Security Target. Source: Pixabay)

Ransomware and Malware

Hackers design ransomware as a software that blocks access to information on a device till a required amount is paid up online. The data in question will be stolen through encryption by the hackers and you won’t be able to access it. Thias also makes your device insecure and allows the hackers to gain access to your device and its stored data. Malware, a kind of coded software developed by cyber attackers, can gain unauthorized access to a device or network while causing extensive damage to its data. These can be used by online scammers to gain knowledge of transaction details of a real estate deal, social security numbers of the clients, landowners and tenants and other information like payment card details, bank account numbers, etc.

Cloud computing storage applications

Many applications provide cloud computing platforms to organizations, businesses and establishments to use for their network, land deals, settlements, and manpower and resource activity. If cyber criminals get their hands on this software, they can access sensitive company data. This can only be protected from installing a high-end robust anti-virus software in all related applications.

Ways to safeguard your online security

  • Training your staff - Whether it is a resentful employee who is holding bitterness, whether it is a grateful staffer who is unsure of how to handle sensitive data, or even a third-party vendor with insecure anti spyware programs, all directly or indirectly pose a serious cyber security threat. All need to be trained and equipped with info, resources through which they can act securely in the common network.
  • Securing data - Data appears like a costly diamond for an online thief. Therefore, its security is paramount for any real estate company. Installing of internal auditing software or programs to facilitate that is recommended. You should ensure that areas that store the data like server rooms, databases, warehouses are well protected and covered for both online and onsite threats. Backing up your date securely can also ensure you don’t lose it in case of a breach.
  • Fortifying your security systems - Web fraudsters can crack online security systems that can be breached easily, meaning they have a weaker system in place. Safeguard your security systems and firewalls with strong and impenetrable access tools and passwords just so that they don’t end up being broken easily. You must ensure that only a few trusted and accountable individuals have the means to keep a check on these regularly.
  • Examining third-party contracts - You might have set high standards of cyber security for your real estate company but that doesn’t mean that your third-party vendor or outside agents have the same level of online sensitivity. You must work with certified third-party agencies that give equal importance to safeguarding online resources. Be it logistics partners, handyman specialists, construction companies, government agencies, lawyers, accounting firms and other individuals that you deal with on a daily basis, they need to be acquainted with your specified user interfaces and networks which are secure, authentic and certified. Make them sign an online safety compliance form before going ahead with the contract.
  • Reporting a breach: You must frequently connect with both internal and external stakeholders, top-level management, board of trustees or investors, clients, and the press to report any cyber security event. Develop a PR strategy on how you will tackle a hack in your network and install related crisis management systems in place.

A careful study of the potential cyber security threats and covering your tracks while implementing these procedures could be key to how successfully you can run your real estate business online.

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Real Estate Cyber Security Risks: How To Avoid Being A Target