Cybersecurity awareness month brings attention to the importance of preventing data breaches for risk management
A series of high-profile data breaches have sent shockwaves through the corporate landscape in 2023. Each breach reverberated through the digital world, leaving businesses and individuals to grapple with compromised security, financial losses, and an erosion of trust.
In May, the telecom giant T-Mobile faced its second data breach of the year, exposing sensitive information for over 800 customers, including PINs, names, and phone numbers. This marked the enterprise’s the ninth breach since 2018, eroding both company finances and public trust. A previous breach in January compromised the data of 37 million customers, costing T-Mobile $350 million in a settlement. As a consequence of these repeated security lapses, the company has struggled to regain customer confidence.
OpenAI’s ChatGPT suffered a breach in March that exposed user information, including names, emails, and partial credit card details. The incident further fueled skepticism around artificial intelligence and undermined trust in the technology.
Mailchimp, an email marketing platform, confronted a social engineering attack in January that jeopardized employee information and credentials. This breach followed previous attacks in 2022, underscoring the importance of securing sensitive data.
Cybersecurity company NortonLifeLock notified customers of over 6,000 account breaches in January. A “stuffing” attack exposed compromised passwords and highlighted the necessity of multifactor authentication.
These data breaches ought to serve as a wake-up call for real estate organizations whose data archives contain treasure troves of information, including email addresses for buyers, sellers, and agents, as well as property details, showing information, transaction documents, and even financial data.
Hackers recognized the value of this data for launching sophisticated attacks. In 2021, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center reported a 64% increase in real estate/rental scams from the previous year. With only access to email addresses, hackers have launched smishing and phishing attacks, tricking unsuspecting individuals into revealing sensitive information or clicking on malicious links. Imagine receiving a seemingly legitimate email from your real estate agent requesting sensitive financial details to “finalize” a transaction only to find out later that you had fallen victim to a scam.
Furthermore, hackers can capitalize on a data breach to find everything they need to commit real estate wire fraud. Armed with detailed property information and transaction histories, they could pose as legitimate parties in ongoing real estate deals. By intercepting communications between buyers, sellers, and agents, hackers can manipulate instructions and divert funds to their accounts, leaving the real buyers and sellers with substantial financial losses and shattered dreams of homeownership.
To help you and your organization protect applications from authorized access, consider using Clareity Assure from CoreLogic for authenticating users and managing risk.
Return to our Cybersecurity Awareness Month site.