In today’s digital landscape, where technology seamlessly intertwines with brick and mortar, commercial real estate (CRE) is not just about location, lease agreements, and logistics. It’s also about bits, bytes, and the battle against cyber threats.  

With an unprecedented level of connectivity comes a new host of vulnerabilities – ones that can only be countered by a robust cybersecurity strategy. As we navigate the treacherous tides of cyber risks, what are the main battlegrounds for CRE? And, more importantly, how do we fortify our defenses against invisible assaults threatening to undermine the foundations of our properties? 

7 challenges for CRE cybersecurity 

According to a survey by Enterprise Strategy Group and cybersecurity trade organization Information Systems Security Association, 71% of cybersecurity professionals worldwide said their companies have been affected by a skills shortage.  

That is worrisome, especially as the CRE industry has become increasingly susceptible to cyber-attacks.

1. Sensitive data at risk

CRE deals with a vast amount of sensitive data, including tenant information, lease agreements, financial transactions, and personal data. A cyber breach can lead to significant legal and financial repercussions. 

2. Complex, integrated systems

Modern CRE firms rely on complex, integrated systems for property management, financing, transactions, and other operations. Cybersecurity gaps in these systems can lead to major disruptions and data breaches. 

3. Increasing digitalization

As CRE firms continue to integrate new technologies like IoT for smart buildings and adopt remote work models, the attack surface expands, making them more vulnerable to cyberattacks.

4. Shortage of cybersecurity experts

The labor market is struggling to keep up with the demand for cybersecurity professionals, making it difficult for CRE companies to recruit and retain the necessary talent to protect their digital assets. According to the Enterprise Strategy Group and Information Systems Security Association survey, 49% of organizations report unfilled open job requisitions in the space.

5. High cost of cybersecurity

Implementing robust cybersecurity measures and hiring qualified professionals both come at a significant cost. As the demand for these professionals increases, so does their expected salary, which can be challenging for CRE firms operating on limited budgets, especially when multiple positions need to be filled.

6. Lack of awareness and preparedness

Some CRE firms may underestimate the risk of cyber threats or lack the requisite awareness, leading to insufficient cybersecurity policies and inadequate incident response plans.

7. Regulatory compliance

CRE firms must adhere to various regulations related to data protection and privacy. Failure to comply due to inadequate cybersecurity measures can result in fines and damage to the company’s reputation. 

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What’s the solution? 

It’s no secret that as buildings become more tech-enabled, they become more vulnerable to cybersecurity threats. So, is the answer to add more tech? Yes, but the right tech. 

Enter solutions such as Acreto. Acreto’s end-to-end virtual security platform protects your building and its technology to give you – and your tenants – peace of mind. 

How? Acreto takes inventory of your buildings’ connected assets to uncover potential cybersecurity threats. It can: 

  • Identify all users, devices, and applications accessing building systems  
  • Use AI to monitor threats and uncover vulnerabilities before attackers can  
  • Protect critical systems against malware, botnets, and ransomware 

The approach is multilayered, as Acreto isolates external threats from your building to keep your teams’ and tenants’ data safe. 

  • Make your building assets invisible and inaccessible to unregistered third parties 
  • Segment and isolate critical infrastructure within your building, such as HVAC, elevator control and access control systems 
  • Remove all unauthorized access to internal systems 

Cloud-connected cybersecurity means your protection measures are always up-to-date and easier to scale and deploy than on-premise solutions. Such tech can get you protected quickly, as it deploys in hours, not weeks or months. It also integrates with any security technology you already use. And Acreto is cloud-delivered and always current. That means no updates or upgrades needed, empowering consistent cybersecurity across your portfolio. 

Cover your assets 

Using Acreto lets regulators and tenants know you’re serious about safeguarding critical data. It’s the edge you need to attract and retain tenants that value a safe and secure workplace. Acreto is also endorsed by major insurance carriers to significantly reduce a property’s cyber risk profile, so you can get lower rates. 

Contact an expert to learn more about how Acreto can cover you.