Kentwood Real Estate President and CEO Gretchen Rosenberg Discusses Rising Cyber Security Threats During COVID-19
Posted by Tyler Bryant — April 27, 2020
DENVER, CO – As the real estate industry has moved almost entirely online due to COVID-19 and social distancing orders, cybersecurity threats are emerging to take advantage of vulnerabilities. Gretchen Rosenberg, President and CEO of Kentwood Real Estate, discussed how Kentwood Real Estate has prepared its real estate brokers to handle cybersecurity threats as a panelist industry expert on “Thrive in Crisis,” an industry update webinar hosted by Land Title Guarantee Company.
“We’re seeing nearly daily text phishing attempts on Kentwood Real Estate broker associates, who impersonate me through text messages asking brokers to buy gift cards or send personal information,” says Rosenberg. “Kentwood takes threats of any kind that risk internal company operations very seriously, but our first and foremost concern is the safety and security of our clients.”
Rosenberg says no company is safe from cyber threats and relying on media coverage of such data breaches is often too late.
This week, nearly 25,000 email addresses and passwords of major public health agencies and NGO’s like the World Health Organization, U.S. National Institute of Health and the Gates Foundation were dumped online, hamstringing the operations of many of the nation’s leading public health decision-makers and thought leaders while the nation continues to battle COVID-19.
“The media’s coverage of COVID-19 seems to have given cover to hackers and cyber theft,” states Rosenberg. “As many industries - especially real estate - pivoted online, malicious actors are using far more sophisticated phishing tactics to target sensitive financial and personal information by tricking professionals who aren’t adequately prepared. As COVID-19 dominates the news, real estate professionals everywhere need to be proactive and vigilant of such cyber threats as it puts at risk your business, brand and your clients, and you can’t rely only on media coverage to prepare you for cyber attacks. Kentwood Real Estate is proactive in using only proven technologies and communications channels that minimize any cyber risk for clients and agents.”
The real estate industry is a unique target for cyber attacks because of the high volume transfers of sensitive documents, information, titles and monies online. Despite the threat of increased cybersecurity, Gretchen believes Kentwood brokers have done a tremendous job pivoting online.
“Virtual tours are a new technology for real estate agents that we’re finding has unique advantages compared to in-person showings, such as giving an agent more control over the tour. As all real estate brokers know, it’s difficult to focus a distracted homebuyer’s attention when they’re imagining themselves while touring in-person. Virtual tours allow brokers to focus on specific areas of the home, which is normally a challenge.
“I’m particularly interested in how much of the home buying process will permanently change. We’re seeing home sellers capping the number of people allowed to tour the home, which makes me wonder if they’ll only allow pre-screened homebuyers to tour their homes in the future. Instead of allowing any interested party to wander through their homes, they may want to limit home tours to people who have already gone on virtual tours, are prequalified with a mortgage or have cash offers.”
To learn more about Kentwood Real Estate President & CEO Gretchen Rosenberg, visit www.Kentwood.com.
About Kentwood Real Estate
At Kentwood Real Estate we believe in community. That we accomplish more together. That deep roots matter. We inspire people to imagine the next steps in their life journey. Our brokers are the highest producing, most knowledgeable, caring and experienced brokers in the country who offer a quality customer service experience. The exclusive affiliate of Berkshire Hathaway’s HomeServices of America in Colorado, Kentwood Real Estate produces more sales volume per agent than 99 percent of all real estate companies in the U.S. The company is comprised of Kentwood Real Estate - DTC, Kentwood Real Estate - Cherry Creek, Kentwood Real Estate - City Properties, Kentwood Real Estate - Northern Properties in Fort Collins, Kentwood Commercial Real Estate, Denver Rental and Prosperity Home Mortgage. For more information, visit Kentwood Real Estate online at www.kentwood.com.