Why is Cyber Insurance Essential to My Business?
The real estate market is a prime target for cybercriminals. With the US real estate market being worth approximately $226.8 billion in 2022,1 hacking into databases and stealing information about properties for sale or rent is of interest to many cybercriminals.
Cyber attacks can leave your business financially and reputationally vulnerable, so it’s more important now more than ever to make sure you’re protected.
What is considered a “cyber attack?”
Being informed about cyber attacks can help you be prepared for the worst because businesses cannot afford to be caught unaware in the digital realm.
There are many ways cybercriminals can attack, but a few methods are more popular than others.2
- Ransomware. This is when a cybercriminal takes over a company’s system and demands payment in exchange for releasing the system. During a ransomware attack, business can lose money and even have confidential information released to the public.
- Phishing. This attack occurs via email when a cybercriminal sends fraudulent emails in an attempt to gain access to sensitive information. Both employees and customers can be attacked and fooled by this scam and end up losing money or having their personal information stolen.
- Malware. This is software that the cybercriminal uses to take control of computers or steal information. Malware exposes businesses to financial loss, data theft, and other security risks.
All of the aforementioned types of cyber attacks can negatively impact your business whether it’s a financial loss, data theft, security breach, or damaged reputation.
In most businesses, but especially real estate, reputation is everything. A cyber attack can damage your business’ reputation, and once that trust is lost or broken, it’s hard to repair it.
What can I do to protect myself?
Besides getting insurance, you can take a few simple steps to ensure you’re keeping your firm safe from cyber threats.1,2
- Create a comprehensive security plan. Set up a detailed plan to protect your computer systems from viruses, malware, and other online threats as well as steps to secure your data and prevent unauthorized access.
- Keep your passwords secure. As a real estate agent, you deal with a lot of personal information and confidential records, and your clients put their trust in you to protect their data.
- Always keep your software current. Software updates are extremely important for cybersecurity and digital safety. Make sure to prioritize updates to protect your device from any security issues.
- Install antivirus software and keep it updated. This keeps your computer safe from viruses and other forms of malware. Keeping your antivirus software updated reduces the chance of your computer slowing down or crashing.
- Always verify before you trust anyone. With so many people involved in real estate transactions, everyone should be aware of who they’re talking to at all times. Make sure to confirm identities to avoid convincing scammers.
- Think before you click. Before you open any email attachments or links, check who sent them. Be sure any content you download is from a reputable site or trusted source.
Putting preventative measures in place to avoid cyber attacks is half the battle. Even the most basic steps can help prohibit cybercriminals from attacking your firm.
Is cyber insurance worth the cost?
Insurance can be an added cost you might not want to pay. But consider this: can your business afford the financial repercussions of a cyber attack?
The average cost of a ransomware attack is $1.85 million.3
And, as mentioned previously, even if you can take the financial hit, your reputation could be tarnished making it difficult to conduct business in the future. Cyber attacks are not something you want to take lightly.
Even smaller businesses are not immune to these cyber attacks and account for 43% of cyber attacks annually.3 So whether you have a large firm or a small firm, it’s essential to protect yourself and your business from the real and growing dangers of cybercrime.
What is included in a typical cyber endorsement?
Policy specifics do change from carrier to carrier, but most cyber insurance policies will provide coverage for the following:4
- Data breaches
- Cyber attacks and malicious online activity
- Ransom attacks, malware infections, and phishing scams
- Reputation management services after an attack on your online presence or brand image
- Investigations into the source of a cyber attack or breach
- Crisis management and public relations (PR) expenses
All these coverages help protect your business from the immediate and long-term issues that come with a cyber attack.
How is Pearl different?
Most cyber insurance out there can help you recover from a cyber breech but can’t prevent them.2 That’s why we offer our customers a risk management library—to help you protect your firm from cyber threats and more.
Unlike other E&O claims, a cyber attack locks every agent out of the business not giving them the chance to work until it’s fixed. We know that cyber insurance is absolutely necessary. When your business is hit by a cyber attack, what do you do? If you are insured with us, we can offer one thing that truly matters in the midst of chaos—peace of mind. Our representatives are ready for your call and can help you save your business.
Pearl truly cares about you and your firm. Curious to know more? Check out one of our risk management articles for free or get a no-obligation quote today.
1“5 Cyber Security Tips for Real Estate Agents.” Realty Biz News, 24 October 2022.
2“How Cyber Attacks Can Impact the Reputation of Your Company.” Live Positively, 17 September 2022.
3“Cyber Crime Statistics 2023: Cost, Industries, and Trends.” Astra, 10 January 2023.
4“Does Your Business Need Cyber Insurance?” GeffenMesher, 4 October 2022.