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6 EMERGING TRENDS IN REAL ESTATE TECHNOLOGY

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6 EMERGING TRENDS IN REAL ESTATE TECHNOLOGY

Drones showing aerial views of properties for sale and microchips inside sale signs detecting prospective buyers are some of the technology trends that will highlight the real estate industry in 2017.

In 2016, the US real estate industry barely moved in the wake of a real estate bubble, tighter credit, and reluctant builders.Fortune magazine said that these trends are about to change this year. There will be looser lending standards, though mortgage interest rates are expected to slightly rise. Builders will be encouraged to boost inventory due to “higher wages, looser credit, and increased demand from buyers.” 2017 will also mark the continued rise of medium-sized cities and stronger investments from foreign buyers, mostly from Asia.

Technology is expected to play an important role in the renewed strength of the global real estate industry. Know 6 emerging trends in real estate technology.

Drones helping market listings

Photo courtesy of Pexels via Pixabay

Photo courtesy of Pexels via Pixabay

According to tech experts, more real estate agents are using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones to provide potential buyers a comprehensive overview of properties. The aerial images and video footage of homes, nearby amenities, and surrounding areas is especially helpful for buyers based abroad. Drone manufacturers are coming up with better features including high-definition cameras and the ability to control the UAVs with smartphones.

“For most apartments or homes, drone photography is an extravagance. However, it does hold very real appeal to anyone attempting to sell industrial properties, large tracts of land, large estates, or especially photogenic properties,”FastCompany.com noted.

The rise of smart cities

Photo courtesy of Pexels via Pixabay

Photo courtesy of Pexels via Pixabay

According to the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the number of interconnected devices will likely rise to 34 billion by 2020 from 10 billion in 2015. The Internet of Things (IoT) or the interconnection of devices is at the forefront of technology trends in the real estate industry. There will be more smart cities that use IoT in improving traffic monitoring, road and lighting management, and integrating communication systems.

“The key link between technological advances and real estate investment performance is productivity. IoT can upgrade efficiency in several ways. Deploying sensors throughout the city helps save time and money by targeting capacity use of transportation systems, lighting, overall energy demand, parking availability, and even necessary pothole repairs,” noted PwC in its2017 Emerging Trends in Real Estate.

The world is preparing for Augmented Reality

Photo courtesy of Pexels via Pixabay

Photo courtesy of Pexels via Pixabay

Augmented Reality (AR) is the integration of digital information with live video to enrich user experience. One of the latest AR trends that went global is video game Pokémon that encouraged millions of people to go outdoors and search for video characters. Real estate companies and agents are using AR to level up virtual tours. This technology projects a digital image, such as the interior of a house, on the physical world. The image can be modified for day or night views, or to generate interior or exterior simulations.

“Prospective purchasers or tenants can customize the experience by visual ‘what if’ alterations. As a marketing tool, it is a definite enhancement,” according to PwC. AR will change the way the industry conducts site visits and market properties.

Guided tours by beacon technology

Photo courtesy of Pexels via Pixabay

Photo courtesy of Pexels via Pixabay

People have been talking about beacon technology lately. “Beacons allow for background positioning and detection, giving new power to a phone that can make it truly ‘smart’,” TechCrunch.com explained. In real estate, beacon transmitters are installed in “For Sale” signs to help agents detect a prospective buyer. The buyer can get all the information he’d need on a particular listing via an app. The beacon can also give buyers a guided tour to a property.

Energy-efficient architecture

Eco-friendly homes and energy-saving devices have been dominant trends in recent years. Developers are responding to calls for energy efficiency in the midst of overpopulation and consumerism. The US Department of Energy developed the Home Energy Score, a national rating system that reflects the energy efficiency of a home. The agency provides recommendations on how to achieve a high efficiency score and save money. Some of these suggestions include the use of advanced house framing, cool roofs, and passive solar home design.

In the Philippines, DMCI Homes pioneered Lumiventt Technology, an architectural innovation that allows the natural flow of air and sunlight.Prisma Residences’ Sky Patios showcase the benefits of Lumiventt. “There are Sky Patios as well as garden atriums located in every five floors, and single loaded corridors and breezeways that all in all create a spacious, breezy, and bright environment,” according to DMCI.  Brixton Place, another resort-style condo community by DMCI, is also designed using Lumiventt Technology.

Pockets of nature in urban spaces

Photo courtesy of Unsplash via Pixabay

Photo courtesy of Unsplash via Pixabay

Studies show that living near green spaces promotes human health. Parks and open areas in cities offer opportunities for physical activity, stress management, and social interactions. More local governments are recognizing the benefits of green spaces, thus the increased efforts to incorporate these in urban planning. Real estate developers are also infusing landscaped areas and indoor gardens in newer projects.

Vertical farming introduced by tech entrepreneurs is making a buzz on social media. Grove Labs, a US-based startup, designs sensor-controlled gardens that allow households to grow vegetation indoors. With the use of energy-efficient LED lighting and automated systems, the cost of growing fruits, vegetable, and herbs is drastically reduced. Aquaponics enables households to grow food in limited spaces in cities. PodPonics, another US start-up, uses custom-built software to grow greens in small shipping containers or “pods.” The software controls the supply of water and schedules LED lighting to save on electricity.

The real estate outlook for 2017 is more vibrant compared to the past year. Whether in the US, Europe or Asia, property buyers are more willing to purchase and developers more keen to boost inventory. Tech trends will play a role in the growth of the real estate industry. IoT will continue to power cities and real estate projects, builders will give emphasis on energy efficiency and green spaces, and real estate agents will be maximizing new gadgets to level up customer experience.

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What does cybersecurity look like for the financial sector in 2021?

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What does cybersecurity look like for the financial sector in 2021? 1

By Neill Lawson-Smith, managing director at CIS

The landscape is changing incredibly fast, with cybercriminals using the most up-to-date technology to hack systems. Here are the six areas those in finance should be watching out for…

The finance and insurance sector is increasingly becoming a notable target for cyber attacks. Many of these breaches happening are believed to be due to inadequate security measures when teams or businesses are using cloud services.

The financial industry is also being affected by changes in processes with more fintech, virtual banks, and other digital disruptors impacting the market. The landscape is changing incredibly fast, with cybercriminals using the most up-to-date technology to hack systems, so it is therefore up to the financial sector to keep up to avoid security breaches.

What does this look like for the year ahead in the financial sector? Here are the Six areas those in finance should be watching out for:

  1. AI securityand cyber defence

Both Cybercriminals and cyber defence are commonly using Artificial Intelligence (AI). In cybersecurity, it is used to identify new threats, as well as assess the effectiveness of the responses to threats, enabling them to foresee and essentially block attacks before they happen. It is also used to spot behavioural patterns and can quickly identify possible infiltrations.

Hackers have also started to use AI to make it easier for them to get past security systems in place. This year, it is likely that AI will be increasingly used as a means of gaining personal details (i.e. credit card details) as well as optimising spam phishing campaigns.

  1. Mobile cybersecurity in banking

With the number of consumers using their mobile devices for banking and financial transactions increasing, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic has rendered society predominantly cashless, cybercriminals have been heavily targeting mobile systems. For example, mobile malware only targets mobile phone operating systems. The most common forms of mobile malware are virus and trojans, spyware and madware (mobile adware), phishing campaigns, and browser exploits.

This means it is now more important than ever to protect mobile devices to the same extent as traditional hardware.

The same protocols that are in place to ensure your staff PCs and laptops are secure now, need to also be applied to their mobile devices as well, such as:

  • Ensuring the latest versions of the operating system and other applications are installed.
  • Installing a firewall.
  • Enabling mobile security software to protect against malware and viruses.
  • Using password protected lock screens.
  • Ensuring apps are only downloaded from official sites like Apple App store and Google Play.
  1. Multi-factor authentication

Multi-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security to all your business networks by ensuring every transaction or login is supported by at least two security measures for access. It is one of the easiest security measures to implement within your business and is becoming more common within the financial sector for many transactions. The traditional username and password are becoming increasingly easy for cybercriminals to acquire, whereas adding an extra identification method, that is not easily accessible to the hackers, ensures an extra layer of protection.

The most commonly used multi-factor authentication methods are:

  • Passwords – They should be complex and comprise at least eight characters and be a combination of upper- and lower-case letters, numbers, and special characters.
  • One-time use code – A randomly generated code sent via SMS or email which is used only once. With weaknesses in mobile networks and email accounts, these can however be intercepted by hackers.
  • App generated codes – a code generated by an app on a mobile phone often created by scanning a QR code that contains a ‘key’. As the key is stored on the phone itself this is less likely to be intercepted by a third party.
  • Physical authentication keys – this is a USB which the user inserts every time they login from a new computer. Unfortunately, they don’t work on all devices without adapters (such as iPhone, MacBook or Android).
  • Biometrics – Using a fingerprint, voice, or an eye dent is an effective identifier. They are extremely difficult to hack but if they are, they cannot be used ever again for anything.
  • Information – this could be something that only the user would know – either a password or a piece of information.

Most of these methods are free or relatively cheap to implement and don’t require anything other than a mobile phone for the user. The added security of multi-factor authentication means even if a hacker has acquired a username/password combination there is still an extra security barrier preventing access.

  1. Refined testing

As the finance industry is constantly changing, then so too are the security threats. Financial cybersecurity is an ongoing commitment, so installing new anti-virus software and implementing MFA, and stopping there is not going to keep you protected for long. It requires ensuring software and firewalls are up to date as well as ensuring access is regularly updated. In addition to this constant maintenance regular testing of the systems is essential. All systems have vulnerabilities, and as these change, cybercriminals learn to overcome them, and therefore software develops.

One thing to remember is that it is not possible to be over-cautious when it comes to cybersecurity. Regular penetration testing essentially identifies any weaknesses in your systems before the cyber criminals do. It is essential to schedule penetration testing or vulnerability scans at least once a quarter unless compliance dictates otherwise. They can be carried out using a vulnerability scanner.

  1. Hiring the right people

It is crucial to have the right team on hand to ensure your systems are up to date, regularly tested and maintained is essential.

Your IT team should have the following skills and knowledge:

  • Knowledge and understanding of the company’s IT infrastructure
  • Knowledge of cybersecurity best practices
  • Understanding of company processes and data flows
  • Up to date knowledge of cybersecurity solutions
  1. Plan a Defence, Prepare for Attack…

Although businesses can take many precautions, there are limitations on skills, investment and timescales in implementing a comprehensive cybersecurity infrastructure, it is essential that appropriate procedures, policies and processes are established to ensure that an appropriate response is carried out in the event of a detection – whether manual or ideally automated – so that whenever an attack occurs, the appropriate and proportionate response is carried out immediately to limit any further damage or intrusion.

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Data protection: it’s time to reassess your security strategy

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Biometrics and data protection in financial services

By Tony Pepper, CEO of Egress

It’s no secret that the Covid-19 pandemic has created a perfect storm of cybersecurity risk. External threats are heightened, but there’s also a higher level of internal risk too, exacerbated by home working. With most financial services organisations planning to continue with mass remote working for the foreseeable future, it’s important for security teams to review their strategy and assess whether it still works in this new landscape. When it comes to insider threat, there are three key areas that IT leaders should focus on: building a positive culture around security, understanding their organisation’s level of risk and protecting their people.

  1. Build a security-positive culture

Many organisations have unknowingly instilled a security-negative culture among their employees, where people are punished or shamed if they cause a security incident. While they might think that this would discourage employees from causing data breaches for fear of repercussions, this actually makes your organisation less secure. Our Outbound Email Security Report found that 62% of organisations rely on their people to report email data breach incidents – and if employees are too afraid to come forward, that means your business is at risk of developing a security blind spot.

A security negative culture won’t actually prevent data breaches caused by human error, something which organisations need to recognize as largely unavoidable without technological intervention; it just delays remediation, which makes every incident worse. By creating a security-positive culture, you can better engage and educate employees, as well as ensure you’re able to rapidly triage any incidents if they occur.

  1. Understand your risk

When mapping out your risk, you’ll likely find that the picture looks very different to how it did even a year ago. In the past, organisations have focused on their networks and their devices when it came to security strategy. While these are vital areas for consideration, what hasn’t been as well-addressed to date is the human aspect of risk, particularly human error. You need to look closely at the tools that your employees are using daily to facilitate digital communication with clients and colleagues, including when sending sensitive information.

Employees are specifically using email more than ever before – our recent research found that 94% of organisations are sending more emails due to Covid-19, with one-in-two IT leaders reporting an increase of more than 50%. With this expansion of email volumes comes an increase in the risk that an email containing sensitive data might be misdirected. Remote working has also heightened the threat – our research found that 35% of organisations’ serious email data breaches were caused by remote working. Why? The causes lie in their behavior and the environments in which they operate. Some individuals may feel they’re able to take more risks away from the “watchful eyes” of their Security team, and every employee is  faced with a myriad of distractions that make them more likely to make a mistake.

It’s time for organisations to take stock of their risk by looking at where gaps in their security might exist – and provide safety nets for their employees that can automatically detect and mitigate inadvertent data breaches and risky behaviour.

  1. Protect your people

It goes without saying that not all data breaches are caused by malicious activity. An overwhelming amount of data breaches are caused by hardworking employees making honest mistakes, from sending an email to the wrong person to responding to a phishing attack. Unfortunately, human error is an unavoidable part of life, and mistakes will happen. In the past, many organisations have taken the approach that employee error can be ‘trained away’, embarking on comprehensive security training programs in the hope that security incidents might decrease.

Unfortunately, if that were the case, then employee activated data breaches would be a thing of the past! Organisations need to employ a multifaceted approach when it comes to avoiding accidental insider data breaches – education and training remain an important element, but ultimately businesses need to implement the right technology to provide a safety net for their people. Many organisations have legacy DLP solutions in place that cannot mitigate the risk as they fail to fully understand employees’ behaviour.

Often, these tools stand in the way of productivity, prompting users even when there isn’t a legitimate risk. When click fatigue sets in, these solutions become ineffective, with users ignoring prompts whenever they appear. Luckily, advances in machine learning mean that there’s technology available to prevent insider data breaches such as misdirected email, by deeply understanding the way that users behave and the context in which they share data, to ensure emails are sent to the right recipients with the right level of security.

The vast majority of organizations will never go back to every employee working full time within the office environment, instead post-pandemic we will see a myriad of different approaches – with some based in the office, while others work at home part or full-time, and as the world opens up again, their locations may change throughout the day. To mitigate risks from inadvertent errors to intentional data exfiltration, CISOs must address their security culture and protect their human layer with intelligent controls that mitigate employees’ behaviors and stop breaches before they happen.

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Sumitomo Life Insurance Selects Talend to Build Company’s Data Infrastructure

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Sumitomo Life Insurance Selects Talend to Build Company’s Data Infrastructure 2

Leading life insurer uses Talend in data lake environment for data analytics

Talend (NASDAQ: TLND), a global leader in data integration and data integrity, announced today that Sumitomo Life Insurance Company, one of the Japan’s leading life insurance companies, has selected Talend Data Fabric for its data analytics infrastructure.

Sumitomo Life aims to become the most trusted and supported company by its stakeholders, including its customers, and to grow sustainably and stably. Sumitomo Life’s vision is to offer advanced products to enable customers to live vigorously. To respond to that, the company is developing and delivering cutting-edge products that respond to its customers’ current and expected futures needs in areas focusing on nursing care, medical insurance and retirement planning.

“With the trust from our customers as the starting point of all our activities, Sumitomo Life is providing optimal life insurance services to every person through the sound management of the insurance business,” said Mr. Masakazu Ohta, General Manager in Charge of Information System Department at Sumitomo Life. “As a new approach, it was necessary to build a common foundation for big data management, and Talend is the driver. Talend’s superiority in cloud implementation, development productivity, features, and licensing model convinced us to be part of this journey together.”

To meet the needs of its customers and offer them innovative products and services, Sumitomo Life has decided to build a foundation for data analysis (Sumisei Data Platform) in the cloud for the promotion of new insurance products. The company evolved its legacy data environment to the new environment where they can store the data extracted from various systems both on-premises and effectively in the cloud.

In order to meet the needs of each individual customer and provide the best insurance for them, Sumitomo Life uses Talend Data Fabric as the hub of its data infrastructure. This manages data across the organization and integrates data into a data lake, which makes them able to utilize data across the company.

“We have been able to release projects with the continuous support of Talend, even amid the changing business environment in the Covid-19 crisis. We will continue to collaborate with Talend in order to actively promote company-wide data analysis projects,” added Mr. Ohta.

“The insurance market is one of the most competitive sectors. By facing tight regulations and complex customer needs, companies must be at the forefront of innovation to offer even more services and new products to its customers,” said Kenji Tsunoda, Country Manager Japan, at Talend. “Talend helped Sumitomo Life reinvent its data-driven infrastructure to provide a data management platform that enables the development of advanced products for its customers.  We are delighted to support Sumitomo Life in the pursuit of their vision.”

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