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In February 2019, LandMark White (LMW), Australia’s largest independent property valuation firm publicly announced that a key online platform had been compromised and third parties had accessed over 100,000 records including property valuations, information of borrowers, lenders, homeowners and property agent data.

LMW suffered severe financial and reputational harm because of the incident. The matter provides an important case study highlighting the need to proactively manage security risks, to avoid the catastrophic impact data exfiltration events can cause.

The means of compromise, somewhat surprisingly, was not due to a sophisticated attack. Rather, it was attributed to a basic failure by LMW to enforce authentication requirements for API connections to the valuation platform. The nature of the vulnerability has led to significant public criticism of LMW, given it is a commercial entity listed on the Australian Stock Exchange with around 400 staff across more than 40 offices and forecast financial year…

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