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We are in the digital age which as much as it has helped make life easier, also has a downside due to the skyrocketing rates of cybercrimes. Gone are the days when businesses had to worry about the physical aspects of security as they also have to be watchful of the digital ones as well. Unfortunately, even with the spate of cyber-attacks on high profile companies such as Boeing, businesses in real estate are still taking no action to bump up their cybersecurity, making them perfect targets for hackers. If you are in this realm, however, then you are in good company because here is a list of top five cybersecurity threats to real estate businesses to help you brace yourself before it’s too late.

Top five cybersecurity threats to real estate Keys in door

Wire fraud

Also known as Business email compromise, this type of attack is usually formulated to scam money from innocent home buyers. The hacker first infiltrates the real estate company’s email account, flicks through the received and sent emails and gathers information on upcoming home sales. With this kind of info on their hands, they then send an email to the buyers posing as the real estate agents and request an immediate wire transfer to their accounts.

Unfortunately, because the buyer was expecting to pay at some point, he/she sends the money, and once the transfer is on the clear, the hacker immediately withdraws the funds, closes the account and just like that, the buyer’s dream of having a home soon crashes. Business email compromise affects not only buyers but also all individuals carrying out real estate transactions such as contractors. According to the FBI, such attacks are the most rampant as they have seen a 480% increase in the past few years which is why you need to be on the lookout.

Cloud computing vendors

Technology has made things so much easier. For instance, instead of cumbersome filing systems, real estate firms now have the luxury of uploading necessary files to cloud storage like Google Drives hence saving on space, and getting the convenience of accessing and sharing these files from anywhere. Unfortunately, hackers are now shifting their focus to the vendors of such cloud storages. As much as Google and other vendors offer you protection, an attack on their system holds you more liable as you are responsible for your client’s information.

Ransomware attacks on OS Ransomware attack

Hackers are continuously coming with new ways to cripple businesses and attacks on a device’s OS is yet another way they do so. Using ransomware virus, hackers can now manipulate a company’s data by encrypting it, and as the name suggests, they’ll prevent access from it until a ransom is paid.

Early this year Boeing’s computers were held hostage by a ransomware virus, paralyzing its operations for some hours. If such a big company is coming to a standstill, imagine how negatively such attacks might affect your business?

Denial of service

The physical devices aren’t left out either. They can now manipulate the controls of any internet-enabled device, crippling it until a ransom is paid. For instance, they can manipulate fire extinguisher and sprinkler systems remotely causing them to go off, lock automatic doors and lifts or cause security alarms to go off until a ransom is paid. While these attacks might not harm you physically, we cannot emphasize the depth of business disruption that they cause, which again is why you need to invest in cybersecurity.

SQL injection attacks

In this type of attacks, the hacker targets websites and servers that are used by a business to store critical information using malicious codes. While this may not seem like that big of a deal, it puts you and your clients at risk because the attacker gets access to customer information hence putting them at risk and ruining your reputation. It also means that they can access essential business files.

Final thoughts

Besides the listed, there are many other forms of cyber-attacks such as cross-site scripting, phishing, and credential reuse which is why investing in cybersecurity is of the essence. Keep in mind that as a real estate business, you pose a better target because of regular real estate transactions and also hold sensitive customer information.