Is the Real Estate Industry a Target for Cyber Attacks?

The world is becoming much more digitized than ever before, with technology playing an increasing role within our lives across various platforms, from entertainment to business interactions. As cyber criminals also grow in number alongside technological advances, so too do their attempts at breaching security networks or infiltrating data stores that can provide them with both money and information. With the increased popularity of online real estate transactions, cyber attacks are becoming more prevalent. This article discusses how hackers are targeting this industry and how you can protect yourself against them.

Why Real Estate?

The first step to protecting oneself against cyber attacks is understanding why this industry has come under fire.

The real estate industry is becoming heavily reliant on digital data; this makes it a prime target for hackers who can gain access to people’s details, which they then sell or use maliciously.

Many real estate companies use social media, email marketing, and other online tools to market and sell homes efficiently. This information is stored within databases that are often connected to the internet, making it more accessible for cyber criminals who can then use that data against them.

Protecting your company from real estate cyber attacks is essential, especially when dealing with personal client details such as names, addresses, dates of birth, bank account numbers, and more.

What Real Estate Cyber Attacks Is the Industry Susceptible To?

The different types of cyber attacks that the real estate industry is susceptible to are as follows:

Phishing

This is where cyber criminals will pretend to be someone trustworthy to access sensitive information. They can do this by emailing or messaging an employee within the company, requesting that they click on a link that asks for their login details. These are then passed on to hackers who use them for malicious purposes, such as gaining unauthorized access into databases and stealing PII data. The aim of these attacks is not just financial gain but also disruption, causing companies to lose time and money while attempting to address any damage caused through phishing attempts.

Malware

These can disrupt services and damage data in real estate companies’ systems, resulting in loss of income for businesses involved. Malware can also be used to track real estate agents’ and customers’ interactions on the internet; for example, what they view and who they contact.

This can give cyber criminals insight into a company’s business affairs, such as which clients are interested in buying properties. They can use this information to target the clients with further phishing attacks.

Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDOS)

Hackers can use DDOS attacks against websites so that visitors looking to visit the site can’t view it. Hackers will send fake emails which appear to be from trusted companies containing a link to an IP address. When clicked, this gives the hacker access to the company’s website hosting server. They can install malware or DDOS tools to overload it with traffic and make it inaccessible for anyone else who tries accessing it.

Business Email Compromise (BEC)

This attack involves hackers gaining unauthorized access into databases by using people within the organization to gain information that allows them entry, often through social engineering techniques such as phishing attempts described above. Once inside, cyber criminals can divert money away from accounts via fraudulent wire transfers in small amounts so as not to cause suspicion until after the transaction has been completed successfully, thus allowing them to remain undetected.

How Can You Protect Yourself from a Real Estate Cyber Attack?

To mitigate the risk of cyber attacks, there are several steps that you can take:

  • Train employees in cyber security awareness and best practices so they know how to identify phishing attempts and suspicious emails by using simulated phishing tests. It would help if preventative measures such as firewalls and two-factor authentication for financial transactions were implemented into your systems.
  • Regularly update software with virus patches. This will help keep hackers out, especially when new vulnerabilities are discovered within it regularly through code audits conducted by internal teams and external agencies that specialize in such services.
  • Ensure that your employees who use social media know what they should and shouldn’t be posting online. This will help to keep PII data secure.
  • Regularly back up all critical information so you can recover from a potential real estate cyber-attack without having major disruptions occur across your business. This will help you stay afloat in the event of financial losses because sensitive data has been stolen or if systems are too unstable for businesses to continue running normally.

How to Prevent a Breach in Your Company’s Security

Thankfully, there are many ways to prevent breaches from happening in the first place. These include:

  • Network segmentation: Segregating networks is a good way of limiting risk exposure. If one part of your network gets compromised, hackers cannot access other parts where important data or systems linked with customer information would be stored.
  • Use two-factor authentication when sending wire transfers so that you can protect against business email compromise attacks.
  • Regularly update software with new patches and security updates for any vulnerabilities found within the code of your applications or platforms where sensitive data is stored. This will help keep hackers out, especially if they’re trying to gain access through known exploits in older versions that have yet to be patched up by developers.
  • Use encryption software to protect data.

Safe Platforms for Transferring Funds

A platform like paymints.io enables secure payments to be made online while keeping all the data protected from cyber criminals. Paymints.io is a revolutionary money transfer system that eliminates the need for borrowers, buyers, and sellers to write checks. It’s fully electronic and secure, and it operates with compliance in mind while allowing seamless real estate transactions across multiple platforms.

Paymints.io saves you time and resources wasted with traditional systems where check payments and bank transfers must be made to purchase properties. Paymints.io saves you money by lowering fees associated with transfer and wire payments. It also provides an opportunity to save time by allowing you to take care of all your real estate transactions online.

Conclusion

Protecting your business from cyber attacks isn’t always an easy task, but if you keep employees trained on good security practices, this can help significantly cut down potential incidents. Using paymints.io for transferring funds is an excellent way to ensure that all sensitive data remains protected from cyber criminals. If your real estate business is looking for a safe, electronic funds transfer platform to help with payment transfers, schedule a demo with us!

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