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Security by Sector: Two in Five Real Estate Pros Say Industry is Unprepared for Cyber-Attacks

The subject of how information security impacts different industry sectors is an intriguing one. For example, how does the finance industry fare in terms of information security compared to the health sector, or the entertainment business? Are there some sectors that face greater cyber-threats and risks than others? Do some do a better job of keeping data secure, and if so, how and why?

New research from cloud solutions provider Drooms has explored cybersecurity risks and concerns within the European real estate industry.

Drooms commissioned PollRight to carry out a survey of real estate industry professionals in Europe between May and August 2019. The findings were compiled into a report entitled Europe’s Real Estate Cyber War.

The report’s introduction warned: “The real estate industry is far from exempt from cyber-attacks. In fact, the frequent, high-value transactions between multiple parties and which are taking place digitally mean that it can be particularly attractive to hackers.”

Drooms’ research discovered that more than two in five (41%) of those polled believed their industry is unprepared to deal with cyber-attacks, with just one in 25 (four percent) stating that the real estate industry is ‘extremely well prepared.’ Just over half (55%) rated preparation levels as ‘moderate.’

A resounding 92% of respondents predicted that cyber-attacks against businesses would increase in number over the next five years, with 86% either concerned or very concerned about the threat of cyber-attacks.

With regards to the potential consequences of suffering a data breach within the real estate industry, those polled deemed reputational damage to be the most damaging (90% of respondents), followed by regulatory fines (57%), loss of revenue (43%), loss of customers (41%), customer compensation (33%) and costs related to fighting cyber-attacks (33%).

So in what ways would real estate professionals consider their companies most vulnerable to data breaches? According to the research, 51% felt that external third party access to information was leaving organizations most exposed, with 24% opting for protecting data flows between devices and 12% opting for ransomware threats.

Alexandre Grellier, co-founder and chief executive of Drooms, said: “Many real estate firms run several data hubs within their organizations, making it difficult to know where data is held and who is processing it. This means they are all the more susceptible to cyber-attacks.

“It is essential that real estate companies adopt technological tools and processes with sufficient data protection and support if they are to defend themselves against attacks that potentially threaten their survival. They can be reassured, however, in that such tools do currently exist and will even enhance their operational efficiency.”

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