Do you know where your real estate data is?
The intersection of commerce and convenience is connected by the internet. However, the ease facilitated by online operations comes with cybersecurity pitfalls related to password protection, public Wi-Fi, and data security.
Just ask Jane.
The tale of Jane serves as a stark reminder of the dangers lurking within seemingly harmless spaces or routines. As technology advances, so do the threats, and only through vigilance, awareness, and cybersecurity measures can individuals and organizations hope to safeguard their digital lives from the grip of modern-day attacks.
Once Upon a Time in a World Driven by Property Data
On a brisk morning, Jane decided to squeeze in some work between property showings. With her laptop in tow, she settled into a well-worn corner spot at her favorite café and automatically connected to the public Wi-Fi. It is a routine she has grown accustomed to – often sipping coffee while juggling emails, listings, contracts, and client communications.
Today, however, someone else was watching.
Unbeknownst to Jane, a few tables away, a cybercriminal was lurking on the café’s network, exploiting its unsecured public Wi-Fi.
Alexa, a digital voyeur, is adept at using her laptop as a window into the digital lives of those around her. From her small screen, she has the power to reveal what people are looking at online, the programs they are using, passwords, email accounts, and more. It was as if Alexa had the power to digitally peer over their shoulders.
As Jane accessed her multiple listing organization’s single sign-on dashboard, her login credentials flashed across Alexa’s screen. Alexa watched, capturing Jane’s access to the SSO dashboard and the inner workings of her business. Suddenly, Alexa had an opening to gather member rosters, client information, listing details, showing information, transaction documents, and more.
Alexa began to sift through the valuable information, concocting schemes to exploit this trove of data. She considered impersonating clients and agents, crafting phishing emails, altering property listings, and even attempting fraudulent transactions. The consequences of this breach were dire.
Within days, whispers of unauthorized transactions and manipulated property listings began to circulate within the real estate community. Clients questioned the integrity of their deals and the multiple listing organization grappled with the fallout of compromised data. Client-agent trust was breached, and Jane’s once-thriving career was tarnished.
A Cybersecurity Lesson Learned
To mitigate the risks, real estate organizations must prioritize cybersecurity protections. Implementing robust encryption, multi-factor authentication, real-time user access anomaly monitoring, and regular security audits can significantly reduce the likelihood of a breach. Educating employees and users about cyber threats and promoting a culture of security awareness are equally vital. By staying vigilant and implementing robust cybersecurity measures, the real estate industry can better protect its digital assets from the ever-evolving threats of the cyber world.
To help you and your organization protect applications from authorized access, consider using Clareity Assure from CoreLogic for authenticating users and managing risk.
Return to our Cybersecurity Awareness Month site.