Risky business: The importance of information security

Information is the life-blood of the real estate industry. And for those who handle this information, not only will your clients expect that you’re properly equipped to protect it, but you’ll be reducing your own professional business risk by ensuring that you are.

We recently embarked on a new endeavor – to raise the bar on information security and privacy practices in our industry.

The focus of this new information security initiative will be a series of short articles to help make the subject more accessible – and understandable. We will provide easy-to-follow, practical steps for protecting both physical and electronic information, so you’ll be able to identify sensitive information, as well as information that may appear less sensitive, but is still capable of damaging your business’s reputation if misused.

Over the next year, we will release these articles here on CREA Café, as well as on REALTOR Link®. We hope you’ll help raise information security awareness by sharing the articles within your office and through your own online community, as well.

Article 1: Reducing Liability and Risk through Information Security Policies

A security breach can be very expensive. Several years ago, it cost one mid-sized real estate brokerage almost two million dollars to recover from such an incident. The incident was traced back to a technical flaw, but since the brokerage did not have any formal information security policies and procedures the insurance company decided the brokerage had been negligent and was liable for the recovery costs. If you are a business owner, it is essential that you reduce your liability and risk by implementing information security policies. Find out how to create and adopt your own information security policy.

Working together, we can help protect the well-being and reputation of our organization and industry, providing the level of protection our employees and real estate clients expect.

The article above is for information purposes and is not legal advice or a substitute for legal counsel.

Our former Director of IT Services, Christian Probst, made the move from Germany to 200 Catherine Street in late 2009. With an increasing focus on technical services, Christian and his IT team helped ensure the smooth operation of services like REALTOR Link®, REALTOR.ca, ICX.ca, and DDF™.

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