With billions of funds transfers happening on a daily basis in the real estate industry, it’s safe to say that the real estate industry is the highest revenue-generating business in the world. But for an industry that generates such a huge revenue every year, real estate is more prone to information theft and similar kinds of cyber attacks. The reason is that after all these years, the real estate industry still holds an unsophisticated environment for technological advancements. As a result, no proper system has yet been created that can ensure the occurrence of transactions in a secure manner which is why real estate companies are losing millions of dollars without even realizing it. We are going to discuss some potential cyber threats in this article and precautionary measures that you can take to prevent those.
Different Types of Cyber Attacks
1. Business Email Compromise (BEC)
This is the type of attacks in which criminals pretend to be business counterparts and tricks the business owners to transfer money into their bank accounts. Such attackers can target all participants involved in real estate transactions. These attackers send fake emails to business owners or CEOs only to trick them to wire money into their accounts. BEC attacks have cost more dollars to real estate personnel as compared to other types of attacks.
Ransomware is a kind of attack where hackers hack important information and networks and refuse to free them until you pay a ransom. As there is no way to get your important information back, such type of attack is more profitable for hackers. These hackers don’t necessarily hack computers. They can get control of any device that can be connected to the internet. Even smart technology-based devices are not safe from these kinds of attacks.
3. Mortgage Closing Wire Scam
This is the attack where at the time of closing a deal, the homebuyers receive email from someone pretending to be their agent that includes a specific date, time and location of the closing along with details of the bank account in which they have to transfer the money. This money gets stolen within moments of the transaction and then the victim realizes what has happened with him.
4. Other Attacks
Though it might be true that ransomware and BEC attacks are making news these days but there are other types of malware used by hackers these days. For example, hackers are now stealing personal information. Bank account PIN numbers, passwords, company accounts details, and any information that reveals identifiable data is on the turf of hackers and they are making every possible move to get their hands on them. Getting such information is relatively easy as compared to hacking into the information of the whole company which is why such attacks are more affordable for hackers.
5. Leads Theft
Another kind of cyber scam is theft the leads. The potential leads that the companies gather by spending millions of dollars are sold to their competitors and the revenue they deserve in return goes into someone else’s pocket. Furthermore, companies cannot do anything to prevent that as all of the data exists on a single server and is controlled by SaaS companies.
Steps towards Prevention of Cyber Attacks
The development of Blockchain technology has proved to be the game-changer for the real estate industry. The data on blockchain ledgers can exist simultaneously on millions of computers worldwide and its immutability makes hacking the data completely impossible. An example of a company that uses blockchain technology is Vairt. The difference between other companies and Vairt is that because of the implementation of blockchain in Vairt’s systems, their users don’t have to worry about information theft or potential data loss. Furthermore, real estate companies should also start educating their staff and security personnel on the importance of cyber security and how their reputation is at stake if they don’t start taking precautionary measures.