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The growing risk of cyber and data crime

Tuesday 30 April 2019

The digital world brings many advantages to estate and letting agents, but what about the additional risks that comes with it - are you prepared?

A data breach can happen in a variety of different ways, it is important that you understand the specific exposures and potential consequences faced by your business, whether through being misled, having systems hacked or through simple human error.

Types of cyber incidents

  • Settling an invoice for goods or services that turns out to be a fraudulent email from a criminal gang rather than from your supplier.
  • Following what appears to be a legitimate website link and having your computer systems infected by malware or ransomware.
  • Accidentally send customer information to the wrong email address leading to a data protection breach.

Questions to ask yourself

  1. Could your business operate without IT?
  2. What would happen if your data (including banking) was lost, stolen or misused?
  3. What about if your IT and web systems were hacked or suffered a virus attack?
  4. What would be the impact on your business reputation?

Ways you could help reduce the risk of a cyber incident

  • Ensure you have strong security solutions in place (anti-virus, firewall) and keep software updated – you wouldn’t leave your front door open!
  • Have a structured password policy (have complex passwords – change and update regularly)
  • Implement business policies for emails, internet and mobile device use
  • Regular training on cyber security measures
  • Conduct regular cyber security risk assessments and monitor
  • Secure hardware such as laptops, tablets and mobiles (i.e. don’t leave them in a car)
  • Back up data
  • Invest in a cyber insurance policy in order to be able to deal effectively with an incident to minimise the impact on your business

Propertymark Industry Supplier, Gallagher have a flexible cyber insurance solution to support your business. To find out more, visit their website.

To discuss your cyber exposure in more detail, contact your Gallagher Account Handler directly or the team by calling 0800 288 4921or emailing Propertymark@ajg.com.

Propertymark resources

ARLA Propertymark has GDPR resources available to members, which include help to writing privacy notices guide, understanding what to do with your customers' data guide, a fact sheet highlighting the key changes of the regulations, check lists and more.

GDPR resources

Protecting Data (GDPR) online courses are also available, with discounted rates given to ARLA Propertymark members. The sessions aim to help to understand what the GDPR means for your organisation is the first important step towards compliance. 

Find out more