Cyber Security Advice For The Property Sector

Kate Watson

Marketing Assistant

Leveraging her extensive experience in the cyber industry and a talent for creative writing, our Marketing Assistant adeptly translates complex, technical cybersecurity concepts into compelling, informative content that not only engages you, the reader, but also underscores our authoritative position and expertise in the industry.

Steps Property Sector Should be Taking:

In order to enhance cyber security measures, the property sector should take several steps to protect their data and systems. These steps include:

1. Conducting Regular Risk Assessments: The first step towards improving cyber security in the property sector is to conduct regular risk assessments. This involves identifying potential threats and vulnerabilities within the organization's IT infrastructure and evaluating their potential impact on business operations. By conducting these assessments on a regular basis, property companies can identify areas of weakness and take proactive measures to mitigate those risks.

2. Implementing Strong Password Policies: One of the simplest yet most effective ways to enhance cyber security is to enforce strong password policies. Property companies should require employees to create complex passwords that include a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters. Additionally, passwords should be changed regularly and not be reused across multiple accounts. By implementing strong password policies, property companies can greatly reduce the risk of unauthorized access to their systems.

3. Educating Employees on Cyber Security Best Practices: Employees are often the weakest link in an organisation's cyber security defenses. Therefore, it is crucial for property companies to educate their employees on best practices for cyber security. This includes training employees on how to recognize phishing emails, how to create strong passwords, and how to securely handle sensitive data. By providing regular training and reminders, property companies can help ensure that their employees are equipped with the knowledge necessary to protect against cyber threats.

4. Implementing Multi-factor Authentication: Multi-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security by requiring users to provide multiple forms of verification before accessing sensitive information or systems.


Key Mistakes to Avoid in Cyber Security 

While taking proactive measures to enhance cyber security is important, it is equally crucial for property companies to avoid certain key mistakes that can leave them vulnerable to cyber threats. Here are some common mistakes that the property sector should avoid:

Neglecting Regular Updates and Patch Management: Failing to keep software, applications, and operating systems up to-date with the latest updates and patches leaves property companies vulnerable to known security vulnerabilities. These updates often include important security fixes that address weaknesses in the software or system. Neglecting regular updates and patch management can leave property companies exposed to cyber attacks that exploit these vulnerabilities.

Lack of Employee Awareness and Training: As mentioned earlier, employees are often the weakest link when it comes to cyber security.


The 3 Most Common Cyber Attacks The Property Industry are Facing:

  • Data Breach Attacks

One of the most common cyber attacks that the property industry is facing is data breach attacks. These attacks involve unauthorised individuals gaining access to sensitive information, such as personal details and financial records. In the case of the CTS cyber attack, there are concerns about the security of sensitive legal data being compromised.

  • Ransomware Attacks

Another common cyber attack that the property industry is facing is ransomware attacks. These attacks involve hackers encrypting data and demanding a ransom in exchange for its release. If the ransom is not paid, the data may be permanently lost or leaked to the public. Ransomware attacks can cause significant disruption to property transactions and lead to financial losses for homeowners and businesses.

  • Phishing Attacks

Phishing attacks are also a common cyber threat in the property industry. These attacks involve hackers sending fraudulent emails or messages that appear to be from reputable sources, such as banks or conveyancing firms. The goal is to trick recipients into providing sensitive information, such as login credentials or financial details.


Recent News Stories: 

Estate Agents across the UK have been told to be on high alert for cyber attacks. Recent Incidents of cyber attacks impacting conveyance and law firms that have brought thousands of property transactions to a standstill, highlights the need for cyber security measures within the industry. 

The recent CTS cyber-attack has had a significant impact on UK property deals, causing disruption to house sales and purchases. Approximately 17 law firms were affected by the attack, leading to potential delays in exchanges and completions. CTS is currently taking measures to investigate the incident and restore services, however, concerns have been raised about the security of sensitive legal data. Specific law firms impacted by the cyber-attack include X&Y Solicitors and Z Legal Services, among others. The outage has posed challenges for estate agents and conveyancers, who have been struggling to progress with property transactions due to the disruption. As a result, the cyber-attack has caused widespread concern and uncertainty within the UK property market.

The recent cyber attack on the law firm IT provider, CTS, has left homeowners unable to complete sales, causing chaos in the property market. The disruption to property chains and conveyancing firms has been significant, with many customers facing challenges in finalising their property transactions.

The cyber breach has resulted in delays in the completion of sales, as the IT systems used by conveyancing firms have been affected. This has led to frustration among homeowners who are unable to move forward with their property transactions. The impact has been felt across the conveyancing sector, with potential long-term consequences on the efficiency and trust in the industry.

Homeowners are facing uncertainty and financial implications due to the cyber attack, as the disruption to property chains has caused delays in moving into new homes or selling existing ones. The cyber breach at CTS has highlighted the vulnerability of the conveyancing sector to such attacks, leading to concerns about the resilience of IT systems and the potential for future disruptions.

Pentest People's Solutions  

 Social Engineering 

Our Social Engineering Assessments are designed to manage the security of your internal networks by using a mix of methodologies such as forged emails, telephone calls and physical visits to corporate offices.

Social Engineering Benefits

  • Helps raise employee awareness of security risks and best practices.
  • Identify security vulnerabilities within your people and processes, allowing you to proactively remediate any issues that arise.
  • Be able to focus efforts on important security issues by identifying the high-risk items identified in the Social Engineering report.


Web Application Testing 

Our Web Application Testing is a part of our range of Penetration Testing Services, allowing you to avoid any risk of your applications becoming exploited by potential hackers.

Web Application Benefits

  • Penetration Testing can help ensure that businesses remain compliant with industry standards and regulations.
  • Faster response time in case of an attack on their Web Applications
  • Regular penetration testing helps to strengthen security by identifying and addressing any potential vulnerabilities in web applications, such as coding errors, unpatched vulnerabilities, or configuration mistakes.


Phishing Assessments 

Our Phishing assessments are broad-scale and targeted email phishing attacks are among the most likely type of cyber attack that businesses are having to contend with today. Such emails can be sent with little risk, and if successful, could trick users into revealing sensitive information such as login credentials, or potentially even result in the installation of malware.

Phishing Assessments Benefits

  • Many organisations require an email phishing scenario as part of employee awareness training.
  • Choose between either a broad-scale generic email phishing attack or a realistic targeted attack on key employees.
  • Email Phishing is the most widely used form of cyber attack businesses have to contend with.

Here at Pentest People, we offer a range of services tailored to your business needs, these three services above support Property businesses in combatting the risk of cyber attacks. If this is something that applies to your business, get in touch with us today. 

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