OCTOBER ISSUE: Clear and Present Risks

Recent high-profile cybersecurity attacks have left executives with vivid insights into the damage that breaches can cause.

CFO_Chart_480Recent high-profile cybersecurity attacks have left executives with vivid insights into the damage that breaches can cause. Thankfully, real estate companies have escaped being the public victim of a high-profile breach so far, but no sector, company or organization is immune to cybersecurity risks. A cybersecurity breach is increasingly a case of “when,” not “if,” as real estate services firms are increasingly using smart industrial-control systems that are highly automated, integrated and standardized. New developments such as mobile, social and cloud computing technologies also increase potential avenues for a security breach.

Mapping the Threats: Security as an Afterthought. IT security is a difficult thing to provide for any organization, and it can be challenging to map from an operations perspective. To understand risk, you should first understand the environment. Businesses are complex entities, both physically and technologically, and the complexity of the environment provides hackers with an abundance of opportunities. Additionally, there is often limited organizational awareness when it comes to understanding what the existing risks are at the cultural level; IT is often the lone voice within a business on the importance of security. Because of these trends, security is often considered an afterthought rather than a priority. Due to the introduction of mobile, cloud and social technologies, businesses have ever larger attack surfaces to defend. While these technologies all boost agility and innovation, they also add to the complexity of securing business data and infrastructure—giving attackers more opportunities to penetrate defenses.

Read the full article in the October 2014 issue of CPE. Access is free!