The frequent, high-value transactions between multiple parties that occur in the real estate industry make it a prime target for hackers. Add to that the fact that many, if not most, real estate transactions take place digitally and the fact that most real estate companies store a wealth of financial and personal data and you have a perfect storm that is particularly attractive to bad actors interested in stealing your clients’ data
In order to protect your clients and your business, you must take additional steps to protect clients’ most sensitive data in a real estate transaction. But if you aren’t sure where to start, you aren’t alone. In fact, two in five real estate industry professionals believe that their industry is not prepared to deal with a breach. So, let’s start with the basics.
The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) defines nonpublic personal information (NPI) as:
“Personally identifiable financial information – provided by a consumer to a financial institution, resulting from any transaction with the consumer or any service performed for the consumer; or otherwise obtained by the financial institution.”
The term does not include publicly available information lawfully made available by federal, state, and local governments.
If this sensitive data ends up in the wrong hands, it can be used to scam your clients and harm their credit. Failing to protect client NPI can subject real estate agents to costly CFPB compliance penalties, but more importantly, it can damage your reputation and alienate your clients.
One of the largest safeguards protecting your clients’ data privacy is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Real estate industry professionals who handle real estate transactions must maintain CFPB compliance, or else they face steep financial penalties
To help organizations in the real estate industry better equip themselves to protect sensitive client data, the American Land Title Association (ALTA) has issued a number of guidelines surrounding best practices for protecting NPI to meet CFPB compliance:
Not only does purchasing a home or commercial property come with fear because it is such a significant investment, but clients are expected to share their most sensitive financial information with strangers. Given how vulnerable a buyer is likely to feel in the process of a real estate transaction, securing their NPI and other sensitive data is a significant first step in putting your buyers at ease.
Traditionally, several parts of the real estate transaction happen in person, but the coronavirus pandemic has forced the industry to adapt to new digital workflows. Now, the challenge lies in how to share NPI easily with all authorized parties while maintaining the security and privacy of clients’ data. The answer? A user-friendly encryption solution that addresses CFPB and GLBA compliance concerns, while creating a seamless client experience that boosts engagement.
Virtru provides mortgage lenders, title agencies, real estate lawyers, insurance companies, and other real estate industry professionals with data-centric protection to maintain the privacy NPI and other sensitive data, wherever it is shared. Using Virtru, you can:
Several compliance programs are in place to help protect NPI and maintain the privacy of your client’s sensitive data. Learn how organizations throughout the real estate industry should incorporate data protection capabilities into their security strategy to ensure compliance with GLBA, CFPB, CCPA, and other data privacy regulations.Download Now
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