A cyberattack on the computer systems of the Corcoran Group last Friday is serving as a reminder for all professionals in the real estate industry to protect their technology from hackers. Confidential financial information regarding the company’s operations was sent to every agent in its firm. The email reportedly was sent to the entire company and contained agent splits, marketing budgets, and gross commission income.

“Since we are a commission-based business, with agents rewarded at different split levels depending on their production history, this information has the potential to be internally explosive,” writes Frederick Peters, the CEO of Warburg Realty, in a column for Forbes.com, calling on the industry to take cyberthreats seriously.

In the Corcoran Group situation, the email was traced back from the compromised email of the firm’s president of sales. No customer data was involved. The firm says it is investigating who hacked into the official’s email account.

“A Corcoran employees’ email account was compromised and three emails containing inaccurate and misleading Corcoran information were distributed within Corcoran, in a deliberate attempt to distract employees and agents, disrupt business and cause damage to Corcoran,” the firm wrote in a statement following the incident to The Real Deal.

Companies are increasingly on alert from the growth of hackers trying to compromise business computer systems or even threaten wire transactions with clients.

“We must all take security ever more seriously and devote more time and resources to maintaining it,” Peters notes in the Forbes.com column. “As systems grow more complex, and we layer newer fixes on top of older ones, the maze which our systems become grows harder to monitor. Paring these overburdened systems down will not only create greater efficiency but also leave fewer points of entry for the ill-intentioned hacker or piece of malware.”

Click on the link below to read the complete article online at magazine.realtor.com