Recent scenarios such as the Target data breach and the Neiman Marcus breach have brought significant attention to the issue of cyber liability. But it’s important to understand that cyber security risks don’t just affect retailers or brick and mortar stores; cyber risks also threaten the real estate industry.
Cyber threats can come in the form of a stolen laptop or mobile device, among other exposures. Misappropriated customer or tenant information could result in significant liability for an owner or for a landlord. A 2010 study found that while 46% of the lost laptops involved in the study contained confidential data, only 30% of those systems were encrypted, and only 10% had other anti-theft technologies.
How else can those in the real estate industry be affected by Cyber Security risks? According to the American International Group (AIG), in early 2012, cyber criminals were able to copy the digital information from online listings to create their own listing to collect the initial deposit and rent for property that they did not own. In another situation later in 2012, two individuals were found to be running a massive identity theft ring in San Diego, in which much of the personal information is believed to have come from stolen real estate files.
Although an appropriate Cyber Security Insurance plan will help your clients financially recover from a cyber breach, it’s best to understand the risks that they face to potentially avoid a data breach to begin with. Data breaches can not only be financially devastating, but can cause real estate agents to lose clients due to the lack of trust that will exist after the breach.
At PL Risk Advisors, we can assist you in helping your real estate clients develop a risk management program that combines security controls along with a properly structured insurance policy that meets their needs. To learn more about this program as well as our Privacy and Network Security services, please contact us at (855) 403-5982.