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Cyber Risk in the Real Estate Industry

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Consider the sensitive information that your Real Estate Agency currently stores & holds. Cyber criminals seek to steal any minute detail such as individual’s name, signature, address, telephone number, date of birth, medical records, bank account details and commentary or opinion about clients.

In its most recent cyber security survey the Australian Cyber Security Centre revealed that in 2014-15, CERT Australia - the national cyber response unit - responded to 11,733 incidents affecting businesses, 218 of which involved systems of national interest and critical infrastructure.

At Aon, we've also witnessed an increase in Cyber notifications and in most cases the claims relate to first party hacker damage to websites and computer systems. One particular method being adopted by hackers is the use of Cryptolocker, a ransomware trojan that encrypts your files until a ransom is paid to obtain the decryption key. One recent claim was in excess of $10,000 as the hackers had disabled the offices anti-virus software and prevented the office recovering from back up. The majority of the costs incurred resulted from decryption recovery, reinstalling the server and reinstating the office computers.

Recently the Panama Papers scandal has also placed cyber threats on front pages of newspapers worldwide.

Business leaders are now keenly aware of the risks and impacts of cyber breach as well as the aftermath of potential loss of business and tainted reputation once clients (landlords, owners or renters) become aware that their personal information has either been compromise. The likely advent of mandatory breach notification legislation in Australia means that business leaders need to prepare themselves and their organisations for even greater scrutiny.

Cyber-crime outweighs drug trafficking as the most lucrative form of crime and experts have described how these criminal networks have hierarchies, employees, health-plans, they even have employee performance reviews. These are well established and sophisticated operations.

You need to take control and keep yourself updated about the threat landscape. Engage in a risk mapping exercise with all stakeholders, with a view to being covered for:

  • Direct ramifications of a breach both financially and for brand reputation;
  • Notification costs (PR budget, call-centre costs and credit monitoring services);
  • Investigations response and compliance;
  • Compensation to affected individuals;
  • Engagement of forensic experts; and
  • Defence of claims for misleading conduct, negligence, breach of contract, breach of confidence and privacy compromises.

As subject experts, Aon can provide you with recommendations about risk control, processes and mitigation techniques and perform a gap analysis in regards to current insurance.

To find out more, contact the Aon Real Estate team on 1300 734 274 or send your enquiry to: au.propertymanagers@aon.com

© 2016 Aon Risk Services Australia Limited | ABN 17 000 434 720 | AFSL 241141. This information is general in nature and should not be relied on as advice (personal or otherwise) because your personal needs, objectives and financial situation have not been considered. So before deciding whether a particular product is right for you, please consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement or contact us to speak to an adviser.
 

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