Cyber Security Leadership Recognised At National Awards


REIWA’s leadership in the cyber security field has been recognised, with CEO Cath Hart named as a finalist in two categories at the Australian Cyber Security Awards 2024.

Ms Hart has been shortlisted for the Cyber Security Professional of the Year – Professional and Financial Services and Female Cyber Security Leader of the Year.

The Australian Cyber Security Awards is the premier event to honour outstanding individuals and businesses making significant contributions to cyber security across a range of sectors.

They recognise individuals and businesses from across Australia — rather than products and platforms — over 29 different categories.

“The real estate industry has been a clear target for cyber criminals given members high volume of financial transactions,” Ms Hart said.

“REIWA has been proud to lead in this area by providing support, education and information to our members, regardless of the size or scale of their business.

“That’s why we have made cyber security is a key advocacy priority for REIWA — we’re always working to educate and protect members and the public from real-estate related cyber attacks and cyber scams.

“Our latest initiative is our INNOVATE: The Future of Real Estate event, which will equip industry professionals with the latest skills and insights for using AI, as well as provide an update on verification of identity cyber security protocols.”

Under Ms Hart’s leadership, REIWA’s cyber security initiatives have included:

  • Launching a Memorandum of Understanding with Edith Cowan University’s Security Research Institute as part of a five-year collaboration to support WA real estate agents and their clients in managing cyber risk.
  • Hosting REIWA’s first Cyber Security Forum in late 2022.
  • Developing our own cyber security training programs for members.
  • Ensuring cyber security was the key theme of our annual CONNECT Conference in June 2023, which included speakers from ECU, ES2 – the largest WA-owned cyber security company and our Executive Manager of IT. We also conducted a mock phishing campaign to demonstrate the ease with which you can fall victim to cyber criminals and the importance of vigilance.
  • Ensuring regional members across WA can also access vital support, with a Cyber Security webinar.
  • Regularly sharing the latest news on industry-related cyber crime with our members and tips to prevent incidents from occurring via our members’ website, newsletters and social media.
  • Sharing information on risk and cyber insurance from relevant industry partners.
  • Implementing multi-factor authentication for access to our member platforms.
  • Advocating for changes to policy that leave agents more vulnerable to cyber threats, such as having tenants lodge bonds directly with the Bonds Administrator.
  • Actively flagging scams with WA Scamnet.
  • Ensuring regular sophisticated phishing tests of our own team at REIWA.

Beyond working with our members, Ms Hart regularly meets with the Minister for Commerce, Minister for Housing, the Premier, the Treasurer, Consumer Protection and Landgate to discuss policy issues including cyber security.

“While threats are constantly evolving, our vision is to support our members and the public by providing them with advice and tools to reduce risk, protect themselves and their clients and, equip them to respond in the unfortunate event of an attack.” Ms Hart said.

“It is vital that the wider community is also well-informed regarding cyber threats and that governments are also aware of the role they can pay in reduce cyber vulnerability for everyone by adopting fit-for-purpose systems and requirements from industries of all types.

“I am very proud to represent REIWA on the national stage at the 2024 Australian Cyber Security Awards and I’m deeply grateful for our dedicated REIWA team and our wonderful members for their ongoing feedback, commitment and advice to strengthen our pragmatic leadership on this critical issue for both our industry and the public.”

The winners of the Australian Cyber Security Awards will be announced on 20 June 2024.

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