The management of a real estate firm will typically involve the storage and utilization of a significant amount of sensitive data, including clients’ contact details, addresses, login credentials, and financial information. In today’s world, all of that info is typically stored in the digital realm, which means that a poor approach to digital security could actually put your business at risk. Some real estate investors, property owners, and brokers who have been in the industry for many years don’t realize that cyber security risks can translate into very real consequences. To help you avoid such negative outcomes, we’ve compiled the following quick guide to protecting your real estate agency, brokerage, or investment portfolio from various digital risks:
1. Have a Data Recovery Provider on Standby
Most risks that you’d encounter in the world of real estate would be related to the theft, loss, or corruption of data. Thus, finding a professional data recovery firm is the first step you should take to ensure you’re protected in the event of a data breach or other major cybersecurity lapse. You don’t want to be scrambling to find a company that can perform the data recovery after the fact, as time is of the essence – the longer you wait to perform the data recovery, the lower your chances of recovering all your data will be. If you want to learn more about this topic, check out this data recovery FAQ page.
2. Use Multiple Antivirus Software
Having one antivirus software installed might seem sufficient, but it certainly won’t provide you with the extra layers of protection that every real estate professional should have. If you operate a large agency or brokerage, you may want to consider opting for an enterprise-level antivirus suite. Keep in mind that you’ll want to be using a powerful computer with a decent amount of RAM and processing speed to be able to run numerous live scanning software while also staying productive in other programs.
3. Store Data in Encrypted Password-protected Folders
Finally, placing all of your critical files into password-protected folders is another step you can take to keep your real estate data out of the hands of cybercriminals. That way, even if they were to gain access to your operating system, they still wouldn’t be able to access your most essential files. There are even some programs that will hide your files and encrypt them, making them harder to find and open within the operating system.
Every Real Estate Professional Needs to Understand Cybersecurity
While real estate might seem like an entirely unrelated field to cybersecurity, in actuality the two are closely intertwined because many hackers specifically target high-value businesses, which includes many real estate firms. Of course, real estate is one of the most valuable asset classes, and investors in this industry are typically fairly wealthy. Thus, as a potential prime target for cybercrime, every real estate professional or investor should have a solid understanding of cybersecurity, starting with the three essential steps listed above.