API welcomes arrest in LMW data breach

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THE Australian Property Institute has welcomed news of an arrest of a software contractor in relation to the theft of data from Landmark White (LMW).

Last week the NSW Police Cybercrime Squad arrested a Rozelle man following a four-month long investigation.

API CEO Amelia Hodge said the arrest is good news for the hundreds of affected LMW valuers, staff and families, but is a reminder that no business is immune, and companies must remain hyper-vigilant around such risks.

“Cybercrime is exactly that, a crime. The effect of this crime has profoundly impacted LMW and its people. We have been working closely with their CEO and Board to support those many families that have been impacted by this heinous crime and will continue to do so,” she added.

Hodge said that although the Australian valuation profession exists within a robust ecosystem of property and banking sectors and must comply with the most rigorous national and international data security regulatory obligations, this data theft incident is a stark reminder that no business is immune and companies must remain hyper-vigilant around such risks.

“While it is not possible for enterprises to completely remove cybercrime risk, it is possible to prepare for the possibility, mitigate the consequences, contain and remediate any damage following an attack and, in the interests of all, be able to return to business-as-usual as soon as the risk is satisfactorily resolved.” Hodge concluded.

Last week NSW Police said with the assistance of LMW staff, investigations identified that unauthorised access was gained into the company’s database and more than 170,000 data records including personal information and valuation documents were uploaded to the dark web and the internet.

LMW CEO Timothy Rabbitt said the arrest was a great relief for the business and would help ease the stress many of the staff have felt over the last six months.

“The company has undertaken a significant investment in IT security and other system enhancements, engaging external network security experts to ensure LMW’s full compliance with the International Standard ISO27001 – Information Security.

“In addition, LMW will soon be accredited under ISO 27001 – Information Security Standard,” Rabbitt said.

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