Unlike the high-profile financial services, health-care and retail industry victims that have traditionally been exploited, the real estate industry is—mistakenly—perceived as far easier to crack.
CRIMINALS ARE AFTER TWO THINGS: INFORMATION AND MONEY
Commercial real estate transactions frequently include rich information for cyber attackers. Personal information about buyers, sellers and tenants—included in rental applications, credit reports, leases and rental agreements—contain valuable personal information, including names, birth dates, social security numbers, addresses and driver’s license numbers. If accessed, it can be used to access personal accounts and can also be sold on the dark-web to other cyber criminals.
But, commercial real estate firms are also heavy targets because they includes large sums of cash on their balance sheets to acquire or finance real estate properties. Cyber criminals employ increasingly sophisticated techniques to trick well-meaning employees into providing access to this information.
In both of the above scenarios, the most common and effective attack is found in phishing—a cyber attack strategy that can take several forms. Below are three of the most prevalent:
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