Appraisal Office Cyber Security – Things You Can Do Now

Stay in front of your cyber security, and learn about the preventative measures you should be taking.
appraisal office cyber security
Jeff Weiner

Jeff Weiner

CEO & Co-Founder | Transforming Commercial Real Estate Valuation | B2B SaaS Product Innovator | Creating Amazing Software from Zero to Scale | Longevity Enthusiast

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Sobering Facts

I‘ll come right out and say it at the beginning.  Your business is going to get hacked. Probably this year. The numbers are sobering. But, effective appraisal office cyber security is not something that you have to throw up your hands and say, “There’s nothing I can do.”  There are many ways to address the problem.  It is not a costly, labor-intensive task either. In fact, it’s pretty easy and very inexpensive. However, the alternative IS VERY EXPENSIVE.

Some facts consider:

  • Almost half of all cyber attacks hit small businesses
  • The vast majority of hacked small businesses permanently lose some data
  • The vast majority of all small businesses reported being hacked in 2018

Avoid the temptation to crawl into your closet and lay on the floor in the fetal position. There are things small businesses can do that actually make a tremendous difference.

1. Types of Cyber Attacks

First, its important to explain some of the terminology of office cyber security. There are 4 basic types of cyber attacks:

  • Malware: Software intentionally designed to cause damage to a computer, server, client, or computer network. It often arrives either in a malicious email or on a USB drive. It can be in free game sites on the internet.
  • Phishing: The fraudulent attempt to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details by posing as a trusted entity in an email.  Some are terribly obvious while others are impressive look-a-likes.
  • Exploits: A flaw in software or hardware that exposes it to misuse by hackers or malicious software
  • Social Engineering: as mentioned above, deception and/or charm to convince others to disclose personal information

2. Avoidance

Like all security, the bad actors will look for the path of least resistance.  We all know to lock our car doors and not leave valuables on the seat in plain view. Likewise, there are common sense steps we can take with appraisal office cyber security as well. For example, manage your passwords by not using the same one everywhere.  Don’t write them on a sticky-note attached to your computer monitor. The easiest and safest way to manage passwords is using a password management tool. One great option is LastPass. But, it’s not the only one. These types of products offer a web app and a mobile app.  You can store your passwords safely, they help you create complex passwords when you set up new accounts, and they even have a way to safely share a password with others. If your passwords are not easily guessed, that’s a big start.


3. Office Cyber Security Training

With all the best software in the world, there is still one giant cyber security weak link…us. It used to be referred to as a ‘con’ and now has the term, “social engineering.”  Today, it means the same thing. People use some combination of deception and/or charm to convince others to disclose personal information. It can be credit card numbers, social security numbers, passwords, or simply to unlock an office. Solve this problem with training. There’s an excellent service called KnowBe4.  They use corny but effective videos and simulated “phishing” emails to train employees to stay vigilant about security.

This is just a start. So, take the opportunity to consider a password manager, and some training for your office.  They are easy steps to improve your appraisal office cyber security. In the next blog, I’ll dig deeper. Learn more ways you can make big improvements to your security for a small investment in time. In the meantime, if you are in Denver for the Appraisal Institute Annual Conference July 22nd-24, t the Appraisal Institute’s 2019 Annual Conference in Denver, I lead a session called “Office Security: One Click Away From Catastrophe.” Join the session and then stop by the booth to meet with the realquantum team.

By Mark Davis

Mark is a consulting software architect who guides enterprises in technology selection, architectural strategy and new development. He’s the rare individual who can talk technology “in the weeds” with the best engineers and turn around to talk vision and strategy with business leaders. Mark is a servant-leader with a passion for creating successful customers and successful employees. So, it is this vision that is at the foundation of realquantum.

Ready to see how you can be more successful and efficient?  realquantum was created by appraisers, for appraisers, to save them time and make them money. Sign up for a demo today.


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