10/6/22

3 ways to improve your cybersecurity

Happy Cybersecurity Awareness Month to all who celebrate! (That should be all of us in real estate.) While our team always works hard to get the message out about the dangers of cybercriminals and wire fraud, this month we thought we’d provide more tips on how we can all strengthen our defenses against cyber fraudsters.

This piece, while humbling because it says humans (a.k.a. our teams and partners), are often the weakest link in any cybersecurity defense, was very helpful. It’s internally focused, but there are plenty of lessons to take from it and share with the public. Plus, it’s a good reminder that no matter what tools and procedures we have in place, they must be used effectively.

Here are three things we took away from the article so all of us can make sure we’re protecting each other from cybercrime.

Communicate threat risks in conversational language. The tip goes for both IT people talking to the rest of their teams and real estate professionals like us trying to speak to our partners and customers. You want your warnings to resonate, and the only way to do that is with messaging that’s easy to understand and consume. Be open to follow-up questions, and don’t talk in hypotheticals. This leads us to our next point…

Make security part of your culture through training. By investing in regular training and security awareness initiatives, teams and companies will start to change employee and customer behaviors and attitudes. On a related note, all of us know these criminals are evolving quickly to try to outsmart our customers. You’re behind if you haven’t updated your practices or training scenarios. (HINT: These criminals are no longer using the African prince scheme and making lots of typos.)

Do more than share knowledge. Change behaviors. We admit this one hurt a bit. After all, we try to share as many warnings as possible because awareness is so important. However, hearing (or reading) about wire fraud is much different than digesting the information and then putting it into practice. We want to make sure you’re doing the latter.

Our team works hard to protect our customers and their transactions, but it’s clear that it takes all of us to stay protected from these dastardly cybercriminals. We hope you put this advice to good use, and as always, call us if you have any questions about wire fraud or when something seems phishy during your transaction. We’re always here for you! 

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