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The Art of Cyber Defense in Real Estate Accounting

by | Apr 3, 2024 | IT

With the growing prevalence of cyberattacks and the increasing number of cybercriminals, protecting sensitive financial and personal information has become important. 

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) emphasizes the critical need for suitable cybersecurity measures to protect against data breaches, fraud, and unauthorized access to confidential information. The organization provides resources to educate and assist real estate professionals in implementing data security and privacy practices, which highlights the importance of a comprehensive approach to cybersecurity​ (www.nar.realtor)​.

A substantial number of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) rely on accounting software to manage their finances, with over 64% adopting these tools. This reliance on digital platforms underscores the importance of safeguarding financial data against cyber threats. Additionally, the accounting software market’s projected growth to $70.2 billion by 2030 signifies the increasing reliance on technology in accounting practices (Sussap)​

Ensuring data security in offshore real estate accounting involves several key considerations. It’s vital to assess whether an accounting firm adheres to data protection regulations, employs encryption for data transmission, regularly updates its cybersecurity measures, and provides continuous training to its staff on data security best practices. 

The article will provide invaluable insights into the intersection of data security and real estate accounting practices.

Why is Good Data Security Non-Negotiable in Offshore Real Estate Accounting?

Data security is not just a regulatory requirement but a fundamental component of maintaining a reputable, trustworthy, and competitive business. Given below are some points explaining why it is essential and should not be overlooked. 

  1. Protection of Sensitive Information: Offshore real estate accounting deals with a vast amount of sensitive information, including the personal data of clients and financial transactions. Ensuring data security protects this information from unauthorized access, corruption, destruction, modification, theft, or disclosure​​.
  2. Prevention of Financial Loss: A data breach can lead to significant financial losses, directly through theft and indirectly through the costs associated with addressing the breach, such as legal fees and compensation. Moreover, if trade secrets or intellectual property are lost, it could affect the company’s competitiveness and profitability​.
  3. Maintaining Client Trust: Clients entrust their personal and financial data to real estate firms with the expectation of confidentiality and security. A breach could severely damage the firm’s reputation, leading to loss of current and potential clients and eroding trust in the brand​​.
  4. Ensuring Business Continuity: Adequate data security measures, including regular backups and encryption, help ensure that a business can continue operating even in the event of data loss or a cyber-attack. This resilience is essential for maintaining client service and trust during and after unforeseen disruptions​​.
  5. Mitigating Secondary Impacts: Beyond the immediate effects of a data breach, there are secondary impacts such as decreased productivity, slower customer service, and damage to company culture due to the increased stress and dissatisfaction among employees dealing with the aftermath of a breach.

What Role Do SOC 2 and ISO:27001 Play in Protecting Real Estate Accounting Data?

Ensuring the data security of a real estate accounting organization is increasingly becoming a priority. Among the standards set to ensure that these organizations comply with data security measures, SOC 2 and ISO:27001 stand out as the most significant.

SOC 2 Compliance

SOC 2 is an auditing procedure established by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), focused on ensuring service providers securely manage data to protect the interests of the organization and the privacy of its clients. 

It is based on five trust service principles: security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy. These principles are designed to cover the broad spectrum of security needs, from preventing unauthorized access to ensuring that data is handled in a confidential and private manner. 

Compliance with SOC 2 is considered a minimal requirement for SaaS providers due to its comprehensive approach to data security.

ISO:27001

ISO:27001 is widely recognized as one of the leading international standards for information security management systems (ISMS). It provides a systematic approach to managing sensitive company information so that it remains secure. It includes people, processes, and IT systems by applying a risk management process.

Like SOC 2, obtaining ISO:27001 certifications is essential for organizations that manage financial information, customer data, or any other information requiring confidentiality, integrity, and availability. ISO:27001 is essential for real estate accounting organizations as it helps establish, implement, maintain, and continuously improve an ISMS. 

Is EXO Edge Compliant with SOC 2 and ISO:27001 Data Security Certifications?

As emphasized, SOC 2 and ISO:27001 certifications are pivotal for real estate accounting firms, setting a data security and privacy benchmark. EXO Edge is a distinguished entity in this world, strictly adhering to these guidelines. This adherence signifies their commitment to data protection and reassures clients of their reliability and dedication to safeguarding sensitive information.

Cybersecurity is No Accident

In an era where data breaches are becoming more common and the repercussions more severe, having good data security in offshore real estate accounting has emerged as a non-negotiable aspect of conducting business. 

Through the lens of this discussion, the spotlight has been on SOC 2 and ISO:27001 certifications, exemplified by firms like EXO Edge, which adhere to these stringent standards. This commitment to data security not only builds the trust between real estate accounting firms and their clients but also sets a benchmark in the industry for protecting sensitive information against the evolving threat landscape.