An insurance provider says small estate agencies are peculiarly vulnerable to cyber attack yet are amongst the least prepared amongst their business peers.
PolicyBee asked 500 small and medium sized enterprises in the UK about their preparedness, with a third believing a cyber attack was inevitable at some point.
The firm claims smaller agencies are particularly vulnerable to being hacked or targeted for a cyber attack as not only do they have their own data to protect, they are also custodians of a wealth of clients’ personal data too, from bank accounts to addresses - a potential goldmine for cyber criminals.
“Even the largest of companies is not immune to being affected by cybercrime but most will have a ‘what if’ plan in place that has been stress tested via a crisis simulation or role play exercise. However, small estate agencies seem to be chancing their luck and despite expecting to be hacked, aren’t preparing to be prepared” says Sarah Adams, a cyber insurance expert working with PolicyBee.
“Reputation and trust are hugely important in this sector and any estate agency that doesn’t recover well from a cyber attack, may find that their business is tarnished for a long while afterwards” she adds.
“In the event of becoming a victim of cybercrime, most agents seem to believe a quick call to IT support will get things fixed but the reality is somewhat different. They may need PR or social media to limiting damage done to their reputation, as well as legal support to deal with claims from clients for compromised data, fines from the Information Commissioner’s Office and forensic IT specialist to deal with compromised security and ransom demands.”