REIQ leads the profession to build stronger cyber resilience
A national real estate cyber resilience toolkit is the latest initiative from the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) to strengthen the sector against cyber-attacks.
The toolkit, which is currently in development, acts as a guide to clearly explain Australian privacy laws and data security requirements in the context of everyday real estate transactions.
The toolkit will provide practical advice for how real estate agents can securely collect and store personal information and how to better safeguard against cyber-attacks and avoid unauthorised personal information disclosures.
In addition, the toolkit will provide series of guidelines for internal use and a checklist for real estate agencies to use when selecting and assessing third party suppliers and data partners.
REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella said as the state peak body for the real estate profession, the REIQ, had worked proactively over the years to empower real estate professionals and businesses with cyber-related training.
“Cyber-attacks continue to be a significant and serious threat and we’ve been taking a leading and proactive role to support and empower Queensland real estate practitioners to protect their businesses and their customers,” Ms Mercorella said.
“The REIQ is proud to have a long-standing partnership with AON, the world’s largest insurance broker and leading provider of insurance to the real estate sector.
“Through this partnership, we have worked hard to keep real estate agents up to date with privacy law requirements and cyber risks.
“The REIQ has also partnered with AON and Securexchange to develop a short-course for real estate agents on cyber security awareness and this is available to REIQ members and all real estate professionals.
“We’ve also integrated Securexchange into Realworks, the REIQ’s forms platform, which includes sales contracts used by real estate professionals, to allow parties to communicate and arrange funds transfers in a safe environment away from the dangerous eyes of cyber criminals.
“Through our education programs and professional development events, we have provided extensive training around privacy laws and cyber awareness and resilience.
“We have also previously developed a suite of privacy related template policies and documents for the real estate sector.
“This is all support that has been delivered to date and is ongoing in nature, to empower real estate agents to make compliant and informed decisions, and to transact responsibly.
“However, given recent high profile cyber-attacks on various sectors, including the real estate sector, its timely to reassure the real estate community and real estate consumers that we’ll continue to support them as new cyber threats and challenges arise.
“To do so, behind-the-scenes we’ve been working on packaging all our best practice advice and information regarding cyber resilience into a reliable one-stop-shop resource, which can be used by real estate professionals Australia-wide.
“The REIQ has previously developed a natural disasters toolkit and COVID-19 guidelines for use by the Australian real estate community and this cyber resilience toolkit is yet another way we can support real estate professionals.”
Ms Mercorella said the REIQ plans to take the toolkit further, by working with the PropTech sector to develop a series of guidelines for third party technology suppliers.
“As the peak body, we believe we have an important role to play in working proactively and collaboratively with PropTechs to guide new technology so that it meets the unique needs of real estate businesses and the legislative frameworks they operate within,” she said.
“The REIQ recognises that a number of different suppliers and technologies support the real estate sector, so real estate practitioners should not only assess the integrity of their own business’ cyber security – but extend this to the various suppliers they use as well.
“The toolkit outlines everything real estate practitioners need to consider when selecting and assessing a supplier, and in turn those criteria, will become the baseline for PropTech to meet if they want to work with the real estate sector.
“The REIQ has a strong commitment to supporting emerging technologies, and thanks to its relationship with PropTech BNE and REACH Australia, the toolkit will be a great vehicle to share industry-specific information with their networks of emerging and existing PropTech.”
The REIQ will also be delivering webinars, training events, and articles to support the release of its real estate cyber resilience toolkit.
Claire Ryan, Media and Stakeholder Relations Manager, The Real Estate Institute of Queensland
M: 0417 623 723 E: firstname.lastname@example.org