News from the Chicago Chapter

Two Takeaways from IREM 2016 Fall Conference: Cyber Security Awareness and Networking Strategies

Posted by StarChapter on 11/17/2016 1:14 pm  

By Kris Haskins, CPM®
IREM Chicago 2016 Executive Council

The IREM Chicago Council returned from another great Leadership Conference last month in San Diego.  This year the Conference was packed with so many great sessions, it was difficult to fit them all in. The two that stood out to me centered on cyber security awareness and networking strategies.

Computer and Network Intrusions

Every year, tens of millions of personal records are exposed or stolen by cyber criminals, and each year their sophistication increases.  As real estate professionals, we have control of very valuable data on our tenants and employees, and also information from accounting functions.  A cyber-attack can be catastrophic in terms of the loss of sensitive or proprietary information, the disruption to operations and financial losses incurred to restore systems and files.

Here are some very interesting facts:

  • 17% of Android apps are Malware
  • There are 4,000 infections per hour, which totals 80,000 per day
  • The emails everyone forwards and share of Facebook with kittens and most of the political items are Malware
  • The majority of free USB thumb drives are infected
  • The majority of free music downloads are infected
  • Cyber criminals can get all the information they need from you on your Facebook and LinkedIn accounts


It has come down to:  Not “if” you will be affected, but when and how bad!

Networking vs. “Netweaving”

Here are seven valuable strategies for expanding your network:

  1. Don’t be attached to specific outcome
  2. Don’t keep score
  3. Have a genuine interest in the other person
  4. Look for common bonds
  5. Approach from a perspective of abundance
  6. Have an attitude of gratitude - what are you fired up about?
  7. Pay it forward

And, two more thoughts on how to be more effective at networking: Always visualize that the other person has an imaginary sign around their neck that reads “Make me Feel Important.” And,  switch from the attitude of “I have to” to “I get to.”  Be excited that you “get to” network and meet new peers in the industry.