“Everybody’s a target. Everyone is,” said Samani, speaking to WIRED. “Small-to-medium-sized businesses, some [of them] say, ‘well, cybersecurity isn’t big for us – we’re a small company, nobody would hit us.’ Well, you know what? That approach now has to change.”
Samani cites two reasons that every company has to think about digital security: 1) technology has become a part of every business, and 2) because new digital platforms make cybercrime easier than ever, with huge potential payoffs.
These says, it’s not just banks that need to protect sensitive information, Samani says. Most businesses collect data on their customers, and that data is valuable to thieves.
“In the past, you could say, ‘this bricks and mortar company does X’. But in fact what we realise now is that the dependency that every organisation has on technology is now almost ubiquitous. From hospitals being taken down to shipping companies being wiped out; we rely upon digital systems.”
Second, Samani says cyber criminals no longer need powerful skills to get your data. The vast array of available information has made hacking, phishing and spoofing easier and easier.
“If I wanted to go out and compromise you, your life and everything about you, I could go onto Facebook, find out what [you] like, what football clubs [you] support, where you used to work, then I send you an e-mail and make it look convincing… I can do that in, what, eight minutes? Five minutes? I can find out everything about your life,” says Samani. “So the technical barriers required to become a cybercriminal are the lowest they’ve ever been – and then continue to fall every single day.”
Real estate transactions are especially vulnerable to these kinds of low-tech schemes. Within minutes, a fraudster can find out the identity of a seller and use that information to craft a wire fraud scheme. An email hack or spoof can make a client believe an email came from you or a colleague, when really it’s been compromised. With not too much work, thousands or even millions can disappear into the hands of a cyber criminal.
Digital security needs to be front and center for real estate professionals. CertifID can help you elevate the security of your transactions and ensure you and your clients aren’t being robbed by a cyber attacker.