Cyber

WAV Group Project Management Application Development

In the advent of Inman Connect this week, these were three stories I found which piqued my interest this last week.

Will Amazon Uber-ize the Real Estate Industry?

Cisco and Juniper Networks stocks slipped last Friday on news from The Information that Amazon was entering the $14 billion data center equipment business. While searching for more news I stumbled upon investment firm, TwinRock Partners, article about Amazon and real estate.

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California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018

Consumer data protection continues to be a focus for governments after the latest round of data breaches and Facebook allowing Collaborative Analytics harvesting of its user’s data. In a hastily crafted bill, California legislatures and the governor passed AB 375, or the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018. There is good reason for hardly anyone noticing this new law; it was fast-tracked through the legislative process within seven (7) days. California legislature rapidly created a consumer privacy bill in response to an initiative of a privacy ballot supported by the Alastair Mactaggart’s non-profit, Californians for Consumer Privacy. Mactaggart’s organization garnered over 637,000 petition signatures by May of this year – surpassing the required 366,000 – and began to initiate a consumer privacy ballot measure for November. Mactaggart did agree to pull the ballot referendum if the bill was passed by legislators and signed by the governor. California legislators passed the bill and Governor Jerry Brown signed it on June 28th. The law will go into effect on January 1, 2020. How is the bill different from GDPR? California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 is very similar to the GDPR. Both laws allow their citizens to have control of what businesses can and cannot do with their personal data and require notification if their personal data has been compromised in a data breach. Where this bill differs is in who has to comply. It is designed to target larger companies, especially those in Silicon Valley. Businesses who fall into the bill’s compliance must: have annual gross revenues in excess of twenty-five million dollars ($25,000,000). collect, buy, or sell personal information of 50,000 or more consumers, households, or devices. derive 50 percent or more of its annual revenue through the selling consumer’s personal data. Unintended Consequences Trade organizations have voiced their opinions of the law in two areas. The first is how elements of this bill are vague and there was a lack of public discussion. The Internet Association – whose members include Facebook, Amazon, and Google – has stated: “Data regulation policy is complex and impacts every sector of the economy, including the internet industry. That makes the lack of public discussion and process surrounding this far-reaching bill even more concerning.” The CTIA, who represents the wireless telecommunication industry, cited they would prefer to see U.S. Congress passing legislation instead of each individual state. “State-specific laws will stifle American innovation and […]

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Brokers Need to Know that Bitcoin has an Economic Flaw

by Victor Lund on January 10, 2018

But the biggest gains may be ahead. If you took economics class in college, you understand that currencies of any type have a relationship between four very important metrics: MV=PQ. M is the total amount of money supply in circulation. V is the velocity of money and the frequency that it is being circulated. P is the price level Q is the inflation adjusted index of goods and services. The economic flaw with Bitcoin is that you cannot buy much with it. Sure – we hear these isolated discussions about people buying houses with Bitcoin, but those are isolated one-offs. There are companies like Filecoin that pay people in coin for hosting files, another called Steam that allows bloggers to earn coin by writing. Many more are emerging every day, but generally speaking, bitcoin is investors investing in a currency that nobody uses for goods or services. This is a major problem for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and others. Investors Caused the Bitcoin Bubble Here is where the speculation comes in. There is no government involved in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. It is a truly free market economy. You can learn how to buy bitcoin in Australia, here. Sovereign currencies are managed. The United States and other nations use the equation of MV=PQ to keep the economy balanced with artificial stimulation – government spending, putting money into circulation, setting interest rates, issuing or buying bonds or treasury bills, etc. The ability to tax the economy is a big control lever. There is no doubt that the money pouring into Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is outpacing the economic output. The value run up in Bitcoin value after an 8 year trend of about $1000 that has been caused by the capital markets buying Bitcoin. The buy side demand is outpacing the sell side. We believe that Bitcoin and many other crypto currencies are being driven by hedge funds and electronic traders. They have electronic buy and sell points that are executing. When a few major investors follow the same trading pattern, the currency gets erratic. If a bunch of people sell, then the currency will fall to the bottom. As long as speculators continue to buy and hold – it will go up. In the case of Bitcoin, the traditional value that lasted from 2008 to 2016 was $1000. Investors poured a lot of money into the currency in 2017, driving the price […]

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Bitcoin

As a real estate broker or MLS executive who is reading headlines like “Man Buys Texas Estate with Bitcoin,” you may be scratching your head to understand what this stuff is all about. Here is a primer that may help you to understand it. First of all, a cryptocurrency is a digital currency. It is not a coin or a bill. It is not backed by any nation’s treasury. It has a theoretical value that can be used for the exchange of goods and services. Bitcoin is only one of the digital currencies. There are many. In fact, anyone can create a digital currency in a few hours. Bitcoin is the largest and most widely known currency. Ethereum and Litecoin are gaining in popularity. Cryptocurrencies are a form of money that can be used for payment. It is nothing more, and nothing less. Funny thing is, we do not read headlines like “Woman Buys New York Penthouse with Pesos.” However, to all extents and purposes, the Bitcoin transaction and Peso transaction are effectively the same, you exchange one currency for US Dollars. But there is one catch that you need to understand. Currencies that we are familiar with are naturally attached to sovereign nations like the Dollar in America. When you want to use your American Dollar in some other nation, you need to exchange your currency for the currency of that nation. Exchange is the very nature of why currencies exist. In housing, people exchange currencies for property all of the time. Since housing is marketed here in America in US Dollars, if a seller wants to get paid in Bitcoin, then the buyer will need to use a cryptocurrency exchange like Coinbase to convert dollars into Bitcoin. Similarly, if a buyer has Bitcoin and the seller wants US Dollars (which is assumed), then the exchange will be used to move Bitcoin to dollars. Cyber currencies are not controlled by any bank or government. To all extents and purposes, the currency is established by a group of people mutually agree to its value and it trades on the open market like any currency with bids and asks. High risk investors are driving the market more than the use of Bitcoin for products and services. On April 3rd of 2017, Bitcoin was valued at about $1000 per theoretical Bitcoin, a relative value that was stable and lasted from 2009 to […]

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Can You Get Protection Against Cyber Fraud?

by Marilyn Wilson on November 6, 2017

Why Cyber Insurance? With the costs associated with running a business continuing to escalate, additional expenses are hard to justify. Cyber insurance is one of those costs most businesses will gamble on and decide to throw the dice to remove it from the expense sheet. A PWC white paper says that cyber insurance premiums will reach $7.5 billion dollars by 2020. It further says that “cyber-crime costs the global economy more the $400 billion dollars a year”. This is big money and it will only continue to intensify over time. When evaluating the risk associated with systems being compromised by brute force and phishing attacks, cyber insurance can mitigate cost exposure for a business. Remember, it is no longer if, but when your system will be compromised. The cyber thieves have found a nice ‘honey hole’ to phish, in real estate and title companies. They will continue to phish because it has been a very lucrative endeavor. To gain understanding of what happens when there has been one incident of a compromised system by a phishing campaign, read on! The costs for a breached account can spiral quickly. The first expense is to perform a computer forensic analysis. Computer forensic analysis determines how the cyber thieves initially gained access, how far into the system they gained access to, and how broadly and deeply the exposure is of the compromised system. One computer has a potential cost exposure of between $10-$20k. Let’s assume the computer and the compromised account had Personal Identifiable Information (PII) available for access. Evidence of breached PII requires that the account and computer be scanned to determine the breadth of information that could be accessed. It doesn’t even matter if the cyber thieves didn’t access the PII. It is assumed that since they gained system access, they did obtain PII. Add another $20-$30k. If the PII in the compromised system is in a PDF file as a rasterized image, the forensic company has to manually read the file and record the contact of the PII. Why? There are legal and regulatory actions necessary, requiring companies to notify anyone who’s PII has been compromised stating that their personal information may have been accessed by unauthorized personnel. How many documents are in PDF format in your company? Add another $25-35k. Attorneys are needed throughout the entire process to assist in documenting the procedures to identify PII and guide companies […]

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