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More than two in five European real estate professionals still believe the industry is unprepared for cyber attacks

October 2, 2019

London, 2 October 2019 – More than two in five (41%) real estate professionals in Europe believe their industry is unprepared to deal with cyber attacks, according to new research1 commissioned by Drooms, Europe’s leading provider of secure cloud solutions. Only one in 25 (4%) believe the industry is ‘extremely’ well prepared, although 55% believe preparations are ‘moderate’.

More than nine out of 10 (92%) expect the number of cyber attacks on businesses to increase in Europe over the next five years. Just under nine out of 10 (86%) are concerned about the threat, including 40% who say they are ‘extremely’ worried.

The most negative consequence of cyber attacks is seen as reputational damage, which was cited by 90% of respondents. Other negative outcomes include: fines from regulators (57%); loss of revenue (43%); loss of customers (41%); compensation to customers (33%) and the cost of resources needed to combat cyber attacks (33%).

The area in which real estate professionals think their companies are most vulnerable is controlling external parties’ access to information, according to 51%. A quarter (24%) say it is in protecting information flows between devices, 12% say it is in protecting against ransomware and 10% say it is controlling employees’ access to information.

Alexandre Grellier, Co-founder and Chief Executive of Drooms, commented: “Many real estate firms run several data hubs within their organisations, making it difficult to know where data is held and who is processing it. This means they are all the more susceptible to cyber attacks. It is essential that real estate companies adopt technological tools and processes with sufficient data protection and support if they are to defend themselves against attacks that potentially threaten their survival. They can be reassured, however, in that such tools do currently exist and will even enhance their operational efficiency.”

The Virtual Data Room (VDR) products offered by Drooms provide extensive security around transactions, including multi-factor authentication and encryption of all data.

In March this year, Drooms LIFECYCLE was launched. This VDR incorporates features developed from more than a decade’s experience in providing services to asset managers. It represented a step-change boost to the administrative efficiency of real estate asset managers, facilitating intelligent and secure portfolio management of multiple assets throughout their hold phase, allocating bespoke data rooms to individual assets while storing them on a single platform. It also includes an ‘auto allocation’ functionality, an artificial intelligence (AI) feature which sorts all incoming documents and indexes them accordingly.

For real estate asset managers, a key feature of Drooms’ proposition is its lifecycle asset management facility provided through its portfolio offering. This enables assets to be managed throughout their ‘life cycle’ of buy, hold and sell. They allow transaction-relevant documents to be up to date and available at all times. Creating such a database means that sellers are in full control and can bring an asset to market rapidly, reacting to market conditions whenever they are favourable.

All data is stored securely on a cloud platform and accessible to all authorised parties, including potential buyers. The availability of an accurate and complete document base cannot be underestimated because unclear or incomplete transaction documentation can lead to price reductions, or even sales falling through.

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