In past hackers used to only target retailers. But with ransomware attacks, hackers can easily target any industry. Hackers especially love hospitals, large trade corporations, and government agencies. All these breaches gather a lot of attention and other industries tend to get overshadowed. More and more attackers are attacking the real estate business. According to a report by KPMG, more than 50% of real estate businesses are not prepared to mitigate or prevent a cyber attack.
Unlike hospitals and books, there is no actual law that requires real estate businesses to implement security protocols to protect their systems and information. Thus, most of the real estate businesses have a very vulnerable system. More and more hackers are using different types of attacks for attacking the real estate business. We have created a list of five common cyber threats for your real estate business.
Business Email Compromise (BEC)
Business Email Compromise is the most common type of attack that hackers use. BEC is an attack in which a hacker convinces enterprises to wire funds to their bank accounts by pretending like a business counterpart. They can pretend like a real estate seller or vendor. The hackers will send a fake email from a spoofed account. It will look like some official like CEO, escrow agent or attorney has sent the email. According to the FBI, businesses have lost more than $3 billion due to the BEC attack.
The BEC attack is common for all businesses. But, hackers mostly target real estate businesses. Emails that might appear to be from a contractor or real estate agent could be actually from a hacker. Hackers will try to trick you into sending money to a wrong bank account. According to the FBI, the real estate industry has lost more than $970 million in 2017 alone. Business Email Compromise will always remain a serious threat to real estate businesses.
Attackers are continuously looking for new methods to cripple businesses. Ransomware is a special malware that can encrypt all the data is stored in your system. It will make the data unavailable until you pay money to hackers. Ransomware has become the most profitable method for hackers. Almost every business was hit by ransomware in 2017 after the attacks of Petya and WannaCry ransomware. More and more hackers are still using ransomware to attack businesses. Most of the real estate businesses depend on systems and electronic information to run their day-to-day operations. Your employee can lock your whole data by clicking on one malicious email.
Ransomware can even attack physical devices that are connected to the internet. Recently a hotel in Austrian was hit by this ransomware attack. All their guests were locked out because the hackers were able to hack their electronic locks. The number of IoT devices is increasing every day. Even your door lightings and locks are connected to the internet. Thus, it has become easy for hackers to find vulnerable devices that are connected to the internet.
Cloud computing and Third-party Vendors
Most of the real estate businesses have moved their data and applications to their cloud servers. But, even your cloud vendors can get hacked. Hackers don’t even need to hack into a business to get its data. They can target cloud vendors to hack other businesses with important information. Most businesses think that by choosing a cloud service provider they are also outsourcing the cybersecurity risk. But, if a cloud provider gets attacked, then your real estate business data will also be stolen. Most of the cloud computing agreements provide very little protection to their customers in case of a cyber attack.
Real estate businesses also have a large supply chain. They are working with many different third-party vendors. You need to constantly exchange valuable data with other third-party vendors. If your partner’s security standards don’t meet your standards, then there can be severe consequences.
In-House Data Management
There is no federal law that states how real estate businesses should implement their security programs. Without proper regulations, most of the real estate companies have constructed IT infrastructure that has poorly integrated applications and tools. Thus, your business is open has many different vulnerabilities. If you are using the cloud to store your data, then they will make sure that all their systems are secured. But if you are storing data locally, then you need to make sure that all your systems are secured.
Social Engineering Attack
Social Engineering is one of the oldest attacks used by hackers. But, hackers are using more advanced tools to search the web for information related to employees and corporations. They are even using Machine Learning and AI to find confidential information about your employees. Hackers can use this information to do spear-phishing attacks or phishing attacks. They can even reset your employee’s password to get access to your cloud applications.
How to protect your business from cyberattacks
More than 50% of real estate companies are not prepared to mitigate or prevent a cybersecurity attack. Fortunately, you can follow the below steps for securing your IT infrastructure.
- Take regular back up of your data and create an effective disaster recovery policy.
- Implement multi-factor authentication and anti-malware protection.
- Review your cloud vendor and third-party vendor’s security.
- Implement exchange alerts before approving any wire transfer.
- Make sure that your employees are using strong passwords.
We are living in a digital world. Thus, it is very important for real estate businesses to use the latest technology. It will help you in streamlining your business operations. But, it will also create new opportunities for cybercriminals looking to disrupt businesses. Every business should focus on improving their cybersecurity programs and controls. You can lose millions of dollars from a single cyber-attack. Thus, you should take appropriate steps while will help you in reducing the risk. Bleuwire professionals can help you in improving your infrastructure security. If you want to transform your business with enterprise managed security, then you should contact Bleuwire.