The thought of computer hackers being abundantly present is an often overlooked and frightening realization. Hackers have gotten so skilled at their craft that there are very few protections that they can not breach. It is crucial for real estate businesses to be aware of the possible detriment to the agency if there is a potential breach in security of its clients. Cybercriminals have been taking advantage that there is currently no federal law for real estate businesses to possess security measures to protect client information. As high as 50 percent of real estate companies admitted to not being adequately prepared for cybercrime according to KPMG research. In a society where cybercrime costs roughly 6 trillion a year according to Forbes, being unprotected in a mostly digital business world can be a terrifying thought.
Cost and lack of understanding are two main problems that prevent an effective Cybersecurity system in the real estate business. Even a basic security package can be financially taxing for many companies. Further maintenance to keep this system effective and frequent updates can increase the costs exponentially. Rarely are property management professionals also IT experts, and this can lead to a lack of knowledge about what actually must be done to protect valuable digital information. Chief Technology Officer at Abacode, Jeremy Rasmussen, provided a five-point plan for establishing the basis of a cybersecurity strategy. This plan is as follows :
1. Inventory all systems to understand what data is possessed, what type of data and where it is stored.
2. Assess systems externally and internally. Verify proper security controls versus a Cybersecurity framework.
3. Address gaps through policies, procedures, processes, people and layer security controls.
4. Monitor the situation continuously and respond to incidents in real time to contain threats.
5. Empower employees to be the first and last line of defense.
Vigilance is the keyword in the prevention of cyber loss. Property managers can significantly benefit from everyone on their team being involved in the challenging task of proper Cybersecurity.