According to Savills European Research, the amount of cyberattacks has risen. Remote working and GDPR are some of the factors driving companies to invest in cybersecurity. Savills also suggest that the rising use of personal electronic devices to access company data could have led to an increase in cybercrime.
The European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA) also reported that the number of cyberattacks has increased since the coronavirus outbreak. Businesses where transactions are carried out online and companies highly associated with the virus, such as the World Health Organisation, have been subject to cybercrime. Hackers used the global pandemic to trick people into clicking on malicious emails and messages that appeared to be from healthcare officials.
People working from home has also opened up some companies to attacks. Whilst remote working has been crucial in keeping the real estate market afloat, it has come with its downside too. Cybercrime is often overlooked when remote workers are managing aspects of a property business from home. Business email compromises (BECs) are one of the most popular cyberattacks. Recently hackers have been impersonating real estate companies, convincing other companies and investors to send money to fraudulent accounts.
It is a company’s responsibility to prepare employees for cybercrime and should consider offering a security awareness course to staff. As the property market grows, cybersecurity needs to be considered to help protect digital information that could otherwise be exposed to cyberattacks.
We’ve listed three ways real estate companies can prevent a data breach and minimize the risk of cyberattacks and hacks when employees work remotely and when they return to the office.
Be Mindful of Wire Transfers
Although millions of emails are sent on a daily basis, it’s important that under no condition money is transferred through electronic mail. Real estate businesses should implement a strategy when it comes to wiring funds safely to keep the money of both clients and other businesses safe.
To minimize the danger of an attack when performing wire transfers, there are certain steps companies can take to improve how money is sent over the internet. Train employees to identify phishing emails as these scams are favored among fraudsters. You can even test staff members with test phishing emails to ensure they do not open an email containing malware that allows hackers to infiltrate their computers.
Other ways companies can improve cybersecurity when transferring money is to ensure you have written agreements with clients prior to wiring funds. You can also perform a callback on wire transfers to a predetermined number to authenticate requests. RWinvest, a leading property investment company in the UK, recognise the risk of transferring large sums of money, and as technology advances, may look to use cryptocurrency in the future as another form of sending money safely online.
Become Familiar with Cybersecurity Practices
When protecting your data, there are several best practices that can be used to maximise security. Start by backing your data up regularly to ensure everything can be restored should you experience a breach. Backups also need to be protected from cybercrime, so it’s good practice to encrypt and frequently update the system you have in place. Companies should also work towards handling passwords securely. Employees should be using long and secure passwords to access company information and programmes. Any passwords created should then be stored in a secure password management system and changed on a regular basis.
You’ll also want to keep an eye on any privileged users you may have in the company. These users are privy to sensitive data and could steal valuable information. Try limiting the number of employees with privileged access. That way, you will be able to monitor user activity and flag any causes for concern. Employee accounts will also need to be deleted as soon as someone leaves the company to stop them from taking any crucial data with them that could be detrimental to the business.
Use A Cloud Security System
This next point may seem like a simple step but could be the most important when implementing cybersecurity. Most companies in the real estate sector are now digital, but some may still use manual, offline systems to file their information. By simply using a cloud security system and moving their data online, companies could benefit from many security advantages from threat detection and behavioral insight, to name but a few.
So what is a cloud security system, and how can it be used for your company? Systems use a set of controls, procedures, and technology that work simultaneously to protect any data placed on the cloud. Various rules can also be applied for any individuals and devices that have access to the network to provide high levels of security at all times.
With more advanced technology, cloud-based systems can be tailored to each company, and unique rules can be implemented to easily manage your data all in one place. This minimizes the need for IT specialists who can work on different parts of the company, or businesses could completely cut these costs.
For any company looking to move to a cloud security system, then it’s important you choose the right platform for you. Even though cloud security is developing all the time, it is still vulnerable to cyberattacks.
So it’s crucial to work with other companies that provide the best security systems for your company. This will maximize the protection of your data from online threats, breaches, and unauthorized access.