Thursday, 18 June 2020

While cybercriminals may be diverse with their targets, commercial property firms are particularly vulnerable to cyber attacks due to the high values associated with commercial property transactions. Size of the firm does not dictate vulnerability as, once a cybercriminal finds their way into any computer network associated with those transactions, they simply watch and wait for the right moment to strike. 

With cybercrime already rising well before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, it is imperative for individuals and companies to be vigilant with cyber hygiene at all times. Cyber investigations expert Brendan Read shared his insights with Commercial Property Guide.

“The property industry was being targeted a good 12 months before COVID-19. While all sizes of companies were being hit we were seeing quite a number of smaller operations such as conveyancers without the same levels of set-up as the larger corporates suffering cyber breaches as they are major conduits of information and funds.”

Although COVID-19 is not solely responsible for the rise in cybercrime, changes to the way people work in response to the pandemic have increased opportunities for cyber-breach. “People, employees, are wanting to get out and about now, work in cafes and be on the move. But they’re more likely to be using public wi-fi, connecting to their businesses and doing their banking while using wi-fi hotspots – and connecting to public wi-fi is really very high-risk.”

“If a cybercriminal has the right set-up they can see via a public wi-fi network all the traffic passing through the networks around them.”

People are at the frontline when it comes to defending against cybercrime, as Brendan notes, “Your people are your biggest asset and your biggest risk. The best way to combat any of these attacks is through training and it’s not a one-off tick-a-box exercise.”

To read the original article written by Bronwen Gora and featured in Commercial Property Guide click here.