One of the nation’s largest multiple listing services has contracted with an Internet security firm to help protect its property listing data.

Southern California Multiple Listing Service, which serves more than 33,000 real estate professionals throughout Southern California, has entered into a multiyear agreement with Clareity Security for the SAFEMLS product and service suite.

SoCalMLS has also contracted for the use of MLS Tracker providing additional security functionality and extensive tracking of all system use. SoCalMLS is among many MLS organizations that are taking important steps to secure MLS content and protect it from misuse and unauthorized access.

“With increasing concerns about content security and privacy it was time for us to protect our assets from unauthorized use,” said Russ Bergeron, general manager of SoCalMLS.

SAFEMLS offers both hardware and software tokens that issue one-time, single-use passwords. By requiring something the user has (a token) along with something they know (a user ID and PIN) it reduces the possibility of unauthorized access to the MLS system through shared or stolen passwords.

Clareity Security developed SAFEMLS with Secure Computing, a global provider of security systems. SAFEMLS provides real estate professionals with a system to safeguard sensitive MLS and real estate-related content.

SAFEMLS is integrated directly into SoCalMLS’s MarketLinx Tempo MLS system and will include custom integration solutions for approved third party vendors who access SoCalMLS content to ensure that all data access points are protected.

Controlling access to the MLS, as well as transaction management systems and broker systems, has become increasingly critical because it is no longer simply the listing information that is at risk. MLS systems now include contact management and CRM applications that store personal information about clients and prospects. And new federal regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley and Gramm-Leach-Bliley, and recent state regulations, require that companies proactively take appropriate steps to protect confidential customer data. Regulation in other industries has caused MLS operators and large brokerage firms to recognize the need to improve security standards and best practices.

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Send tips or a Letter to the Editor to jessica@inman.com or call (510) 658-9252, ext. 133.

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