Proptech ‘mission critical’ as JLL appoints cybersecurity lead
In a move that recognises both the opportunities and risks of adopting tech in real estate, JLL has appointed a chief information security officer.
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Joe Silva will lead JLL’s information security strategy, working closely with global technology teams across the company, including JLL Technologies, JLL’s proptech division.
Silva’s role will be to oversee security strategies to protect employees, customers and products. His remit will include threat management and oversight of security policies, procedures and preventative measures.
George Thomas, chief information officer at JLL, said: “Technology has become mission critical real estate companies.
“As the commercial real estate industry embraces technology and data-driven decision-making, we are pleased to welcome an industry leader like Joe Silva to head up our security posture.”
Tech’s risk and reward
Though tech-driven real estate gives rise to a slew of opportunities – including more efficient building management, potential cost reductions and greater personalisation – it also comes with risks.
Earlier this year, GCHQ, the UK’s intelligence agency, warned that smart cities are an “attractive target” for threats – on the same day that a ransomware attack in the US shut down a major fuel pipeline on the East Coast.
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At the time, GCHQ said: “A connected place provides a range of critical functions and services to its systems. The systems that these functions and services rely on will be moving, processing, and storing sensitive data, as well as controlling critical operational technology.
“Unfortunately, this makes these systems an attractive target for a range of threat actors. A connected place will be an evolving ecosystem, comprising a range of systems that exchange data, which will only add further risks.”
Strategic focus on tech
For JLL, Silva’s appointment shows how seriously it regards tech adoption in the industry. Silva spent his early career in a variety of security roles in the U.S. military and federal government with a significant focus on addressing cyber threats to critical infrastructure.
He said: “JLL is the leader in commercial real estate because of its strategic focus on technology.
“I am thrilled to join its world-class security team and drive security innovation that supports JLL’s mission to shape the future of real estate for a better world.”
Prior to JLL, Silva worked at credit reporting agency and data analytics company TransUnion, where he built and led a large, global organisation responsible for cybersecurity, insider risk and product security. Before that, he worked on the commercial product side of cybersecurity with Symantec and iSight Partners, which was acquired by FireEye in 2016.