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NorthstarMLS’s Approach to Cyber Security and Disaster Recovery

The recent MLS outages experienced by other markets across the country due to a cyberattack on a vendor has caused many to consider their own security processes, policies and procedures.

August 23, 2023

During this time, we’ve also fielded many inquiries from subscribers and Associations alike about the security and safeguards NorthstarMLS has in place in defense against cyber-attacks or other disasters that could impede our operations. Here’s a high-level look at what we have in place:

Disaster Recovery Plan

NorthstarMLS maintains a comprehensive disaster recovery plan that provides detailed responses in the cases of datacenter disaster, ransomware attack and accidentals (systems errors caused by employee activities).

We regularly review this plan and update it to reflect our changing systems and ensure we can provide continuity in case of any number of catastrophic events be it natural or manmade. We also routinely train and test our NorthstarMLS staff to ensure security protocols are well maintained.

Front End of Choice

While we offer FlexMLS, Matrix and Paragon as Front End of Choice to all NorthstarMLS subscribers, this benefit actually doubles as a backup mechanism.

Each of these MLS vendors maintain a copy of our listing database. Should our system go down, we have the ability to call on one of these vendors for assistance with listing input and maintenance to serve any affected subscribers.

Disaster Recovery as a Service

NorthstarMLS has a third party that provides Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS). This service provides a synchronized backup of our servers, database and applications where in the event it’s necessary, we’ll have minimal data loss.

MLS BackUP

NorthstarMLS recently committed to a new service being developed called MLS BackUp as a fourth layer of defense. In a “last resort” situation you’ll have a place to manage your listings that is already connected to the “existing” MLS data (up to the time of the outage).

While no Cyber Security or Disaster Recovery plan is ever 100% fail proof, we are committed to providing you with business continuity and secure data every step of the way. We will also continue to update and modify this plan as our MLS and the threats against it continue to evolve.

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