Data breaches affect every kind of business and Internet user. And sophisticated hackers target commercial real estate in hopes of a big payday, according to Minnesota lawyer Nadeen Schwen, in an interview with Minnesota Lawyer.
Why do hackers target real estate business?
Hackers follow the money. Schwen says they have many chances to manipulate and profit off of real estate transactions and target everyone from attorneys, to buyers, to agents, to brokers online.
Once a hacker has compromised an email thread, they will send out bogus invoices, bank documents or receipts and pose as a major player in the real estate transaction. As soon as the target of the email authorizes any transaction, they kiss that money goodbye.
How do I keep my business safe?
- Change your passwords. This is the simplest defense and will be most effective when passwords have a mix of numerals, characters, letters and a mix of capital and lowercase. Change your log-in info often.
- Protect customer data. Any financial information or sensitive information should be considered valuable and protected with encryption software.
- Surf safely. Block and limit sites that you and your employees can view.
- Invest in anti-virus software. Get over the dread of paying a big price tag upfront. If a hack happens, it could spell catastrophe down the line.
- Keep your software up to date and use the latest versions of any apps or technology you employ at your business.
- Use secure devices. Do not do business on public computers or shared devices, that may unintentionally store log-in information and other data.
- Make a plan. Devise a cyber security policy and make sure your employees understand how it works. Figure out how your company will secure data, back up data, and create an emergency response plan in the event of an attack.