Council for Registration of Real Estate Agents president Marinos Kineyirou this week urged any stakeholders in this space to invest in cybersecurity measures in order to not endanger both their own businesses, as well as the safety of their clients.

Kineyirou noted that the rapid evolution of technology has seen the real estate sector increasingly rush to adopt the new tools available to it, which have quickly assumed a crucial role in its operations, development, and improved client interactions.

In this context, he explained, the Council for Registration of Real Estate Agents has undertaken projects and initiatives to enhance communication with licensed agents, the public, and within the council itself.

However, alongside the advancements, Kineyirou said, a parasitic ecosystem of criminal elements has emerged, posing a threat to organisations’ operations.

Recent cyberattacks in Cyprus, such as those on the Department of Land and Surveys, the University of Cyprus, and the Open University, have demonstrated the far-reaching impacts of these attacks.

The real estate sector, he continued, experienced firsthand the consequences of a cyberattack that crippled the Land Department, leading to operational disruptions for several days.

“This incident serves as a wake-up call, highlighting the dangers inherent in the digital age and its potential to freeze critical sectors of the Cypriot economy,” Kineyirou said.

“Businesses within the real estate sector also face similar risks, making it imperative for both the public and private sectors to strengthen their cybersecurity measures and prevent such attacks,” he said.

In addition, Kineyirou stressed that “it is therefore important that both the public and private sectors are adequately protected to be able to prevent such attacks in the future”.

To fully embrace the benefits of digital evolution, investing in cybersecurity and providing training for staff is essential, he explained.

He went on to say that it is crucial to exercise caution and ensure the safety of technological solutions to avoid any harm to agents, their business, or, more importantly, their customers.

Moreover, he noted that the implementation of a comprehensive digital transformation project holds great importance for the economy.

He explained that it can foster a new economic model, bolstering competitiveness and creating new opportunities by harnessing the potential of digital and emerging technologies.

“To realise an adequate level of protection, and to be able to all enjoy the benefits of the digital revolution, we should invest in cybersecurity, in the training of our staff and ourselves,” Kineyirou said.

“So we should all be extra careful and ensure that the technological solutions we use are safe and not going to harm us or even worse our customers,” he concluded.