Commercial Real Estate (CRE) has come of age and many companies are increasingly using latest technology for better engagement with tenants and optimum output. Office buildings are becoming ‘smarter’ with the use of latest advances on the mobile and digital platforms as well as social media. However, these technological breakthroughs have inadvertently given hackers numerous possibilities of breaking into a building’s security network and gain access to critical data.
Even as CRE companies adopt latest technologies to further their business, they cannot afford to ignore the risk of cybercrime and must take preventive steps to protect sensitive information.
Increased exposure to cyber crime
CRE players are using latest technologies to connect with tenants and other players by integrating management and communication systems and social media. This exposes the companies to cybercrime as information is available through different channels and access points.
Crucial data such as Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and Intellectual Property (IP) data can be accessed by hackers through these multiple points. They may also infiltrate the common net across different client networks and systems. According to an analysis by Deloitte Center for Financial Services, the biggest risk that CRE companies are exposed to is the theft of building systems, valuable personal data and tenant information. Apart from this, CRE companies may be exposed to considerable financial risks, as a significant amount of money changes hands while acquiring, selling or financing of office spaces.
Taking security measures
While it’s important to keep abreast of technological innovations for the advancement of business, CRE companies must invest duly in protection of their data and vital information. They cannot afford to ignore the risks associated with use of integrated technology and must come up with a viable strategy to manage cyber risk. They must create awareness amongst employees to understand the threat of cybercrime. CRE companies should discuss the level of interconnectedness with their tenants’ systems to formulate a common protection policy.
It’s also important to take preventive measures to combat the risk of cybercrime and minimize exposure. CRE companies along with their tenants and vendors can develop a detailed plan to counter any emerging threats. It’s equally important to detect any possible threat at an early stage and thereby nip a possible cyber-attack in the bud.
In today’s high risk scenario, CRE companies cannot afford to ignore the reality of cybercrime and its dangerous implications. It’s imperative that they fully understand the risk of cyber intrusion and take necessary preventive steps to mitigate its effects. This may require an overhaul of the security systems and networks across various platforms.
To combat cybercrime, CRE companies must team up with tenants and vendors to formulate a common strategy. While it may be difficult to fully prevent cyber-attacks, it’s possible to take the right steps to respond to any such incident and minimize the damage.