2 July 2018
Australia’s transition to an electronic system of exchanging property may leave the door open for cyber criminals.
The country is part-way through a shift from a 150-year-old paper-based system of exchanging property to electronic certificates, with electronic exchange mandatory in Victoria from October and in NSW from July next year.
Recent high-profile breaches highlight the threat sophisticated cyber criminals pose to buyers and conveyancers. Phishing emails have become a daily challenge for most agencies as fraudulent emails blend in with high volumes of online queries.
These constant attacks inevitably lead to human error, such as clicking a link in an unsolicited email and releasing malware or a Trojan virus into the business network. There have been examples of ‘social engineering’, whereby fraudsters access agency owners’ email accounts and issue false invoices to colleagues, urging immediate payment, with money being directed to fraudulent accounts.
Business owners across the real estate sector should ensure all staff are aware of the growing risk of cyber breaches, provide them with the proper training in order to keep an eye out for these threats and also consider Cyber Insurance as part of their contingency plan going forward.