The real estate industry is currently faced with a new type of threat that is unique to the digital age in which we now live: cyberattacks. Brokerages are especially prone to this type of dishonest activity.
Real Estate Industry Placed Second in Industries Hit by Malware Attacks
According to a report by the cybersecurity company eSentire, the real estate industry was the second highest industry that was hit by malware attacks in the second quarter of 2018. If you did not know, malware is malicious software that performs activities on the victim’s computer system without the victim’s knowledge. Malware can be used as ransomware; these are cases where the attacker blocks access to a computer system until a specific amount of money is paid. Malware attacks can disrupt brokerage firms by corrupting critical files, thus making them inaccessible.
The Risk of Email Wire Fraud
Another type of cyberattack that creates devastating consequences for brokerage firms is email wire fraud. With this type of attack, the attacker infiltrates a real estate professional’s email address and asks the buyer to wire a specified sum of money to the attacker’s account. It is what happened with real estate brokerage firm Keller Williams, where a buyer lost the entire down payment on a home by sending funds to a hacker who had infiltrated a Keller Williams employee’s email address.
How Blockchain Deals with the Threat of Cyberattacks and Email Wire Fraud
The advantage of blockchain technology is that it can deal with the threat of dishonest practices. For example, Propy’s blockchain-based real estate platform is designed to reduce the opportunities for cyberattacks and email wire fraud. The transparent and secure nature of transactions on the blockchain means that the property closing process cannot be manipulated. Furthermore, the wire transfer goes through the Propy platform rather than through email. In this way, the risk of email wire fraud is made obsolete.