Mortgage Software Solutions Blog

Information Security For Mortgage Companies: The Cloud Is Absolute

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Information security for mortgage companies used to be simple. As long as your employees didn't take vital client information out of the building, it was secure. With every increase in technology over the past few decades, it's become more and more difficult to ensure complete information security within your business--and that means that your clients are at risk for fraud and identity theft. That's why your mortgage company needs a dedicated IT force focused on security to keep the vital information contained within your database as safe as possible.

Convinced that your current information security plan is more than enough to keep all of that valuable data safe? Consider this: each year, about 10 percent of users lose their laptop computers. That means that one in every ten of your employees with access to a laptop computer that isn't restricted to company grounds has the potential to lose that information--or accidentally deliver it to someone who knows that passwords aren't enough to keep them out of that information.

Instead of keeping vital information stored on a hard drive that's easily accessible to anyone who gets their hands on it, what about securing that information in a cloud that's less easy to access and much harder to lose? You need an IT company that can handle supporting all of your users no matter where they might go--a cloud "fortress" that can provide your clients with the security they need to know that their information is protected.

Access Business Technologies is dedicated to keeping your information safe from new threats even before they arise. According to this source, many attacks aren't even created based on new glitches in an existing system. The attacks are being developed by hackers who aware of technology glitches more than a decade old that simply haven't been patched yet. Preventing attacks from these sources requires a security team looking over your system, remaining aware of the ways in which breaches can occur. Because we're dedicated to providing protection for mortgage companies specifically, we're more familiar with the potential openings in your system than any hacker will ever be, and we'll work to close those openings before they become a problem.

Access Business Technologies is even prepared to offer security with regards to your third party contacts. According to several different sources who are predicting the greatest IT threats of 2015, third-party attacks are becoming increasingly common. Anyone who does business with your mortgage company becomes a potential threat--not because they're dishonest, but because their system might not be as secure as yours.

If you aren't prepared for the possibility of that attack, you put your customers at risk as much as if your own system was breached. A dedicated security team--ideally one that is outsourced and concerned solely with handling your IT needs--is more vital than ever before. Access Business Technologies is aware of the rise in third-party threats, and our cloud protections are absolute: even if your third-party contacts aren't protected, your information will be.

Are you looking for an IT delivery platform customized for your mortgage company's needs? With the MortgageWorkSpace IT delivery platform, you can rest assured that your company is receiving all the security it needs. Ready to get started? Please contact us today to see why we have a 97 percent satisfaction rate from our clients.

 

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Topics: information security for mortgage companies

Cyber Security Is A Key Concern For Mortgage CEOs

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Cyber security is now a top issue for mortgage CEOs. The mortgage industry is particularly vulnerable to digital breaches because of the number of parties involved in the sharing of sensitive data. They are attractive targets for criminals because applications for mortgage loans request more personal and sensitive information than applications in any other industry. Criminals know that there is a wealth of information being shared between third parties, and the opportunity to steal financial and personal information.

Security professionals agree that cyber criminals usually fit into one of three groups: so-called hackivists, organized crime participants, and foreign nationals

  • A hackivist usually has a social or political agenda, and is driven by the need to publicly humiliate corporations to teach a lesson. 
  • Organized crime is in it for the money, and concentrate on identity theft and other schemes that will generate a profit. These threats pose an incredible risk to mortgage companies in particular, as they are specifically targeting consumer's financial information. 
  • Foreign nationals look to steal data to compromise intellectual property and information regarding potential investment plans.

Smaller companies may feel that they are not a target for these types of attacks, but any size business that leaves the door open for cyber criminals is inviting trouble. Hackers can use malware that may not be detected for some time, all the while continuously collecting sensitive information. Organized crime groups are very focused on financial fraud, and have become skilled at manipulating authentication mechanisms, allowing them access to many customer accounts.

Many times, the criminals targeting the mortgage industry have specific knowledge of how the industry works. The distributed-denial-of-service attack that hit Ellie Mae last year is thought to have been orchestrated by someone with expert knowledge of the industry. Although there was no data breach, and client information remained secure, it was a disturbing attack specifically constructed for the mortgage industry. Random attacks of this nature would usually be an invalid request that would spur a lot of failed attempts, whereas this particular attack was valid and had a normal signature.

Mortgage CEOs have become increasingly aware of the importance of cyber security, but there appears to be a disconnect between C-level executives and IT management. CEOs frequently have very little understanding of the security measures currently in place, and according to a report from Ponemon Institute, 80 percent of CEOs do not communicate with management regarding potential security threats. They look at how much money is being spent on cyber security and assume that everything is being handled appropriately. They are failing to understand that the company's security situation needs to be reviewed frequently and revised to protect against new threats.

One way that the communication barrier manifests is when IT personnel feel there is no way to adequately discuss technical security issues with C-level executives who are focused on overall business. When IT does attempt to explain cyber-security situations with executives, they may be delivering a weakened explanation in an attempt to make it understandable. C-level executives and IT management have to invest in regular communication that will keep everyone in the loop and allow for more thorough plans for responses to cyber attacks.

Another issue affecting response to cyber attacks is cost. Although mortgage CEOs are spending money to prevent it, much of that investment is not going toward the response of an actual attack. Ponemon Institute's report shows that half of the respondents claim that less than 10 percent of their security budget is marked for incident response. This is happening because of the communication problem with CEOs. If they are not aware of the impending problems from an attack, they cannot appropriately prioritize funds for dealing with said attacks.

IT management in mortgage companies must develop better communication with CEOs in order to appropriately protect businesses. Disturbing numbers from Ponemon Institute's report show that 68 percent of respondents had suffered a security breach within the last two years, and half of that group determined that there was an imminent threat for another breach within six months. The report found that CEOs were not working with IT and security personnel to develop better cyber-security plans because IT was not escalating the issues and explaining how likely future attacks were. 

Please contact us to learn more about protecting your mortgage company's sensitive information.

 

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Topics: cyber security

Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity for Mortgage Companies

Forget Disaster Recovery. What are you doing to ensure Business continuity?Ellie_Mae_Blog_image

A solid question and supporting blog written by David Robbins CIO for Ellie Mae.

A message to David; “We agree with you David. We have been voicing this message and providing the solution for over 15 years”

Best Regards,

ABT

 

Taken directly from David's blog:

Business continuity has the following key elements:

  • Resilience: How resilient are the critical business functions and supporting infrastructure? Do they offer redundancy and capacity necessary to rebound if disaster strikes?
  • Recovery: Do you have processes and systems in place to help you restore critical business functions if they fail?
  • Contingency: Are you capable and ready to cope in the event of a disaster? If resilience and recovery plans fail, are you prepared to react?

Exactly the right areas to consider. But who really takes all of the points of failure into consideration. Most mortgage companies believe they do…but don’t really. Most can’t afford the time, expense, labor requirements to completely protect themselves.

ABT works with your organization to cover all three critical areas in a repeatable, scalable, secure platform. All managed and supported by ABT.

There is an answer, one that ABT has been delivering for over 15 years.

MortgageWorkSpace

We work with clients all over the country. We have helped our customers recover from the worst that Mother Nature has to offer, to "man-made" disasters. We help our customers protect and recover their businesses from floods, fires, earthquakes, snow storms, tornadoes, theft and even the errant building landscaper who accidently cuts the internet line.

For many of those challenges our clients simply need to find another location with an internet connection and a computer, mac, tablet or iPad. That location can be their home, hotel, or just about anywhere.

At no time is their data or systems unavailable. They simply need an opportunity to “connect”. No need to worry about data loss or security compromise. No headaches from scrambling to find patches and fixes. If your office is “down” no problem, redeploy your team to another location or have them work from home.

A complete virtual mortgage desktop that houses all of your critical mortgage software, web tools, email, office tools. If you use ABT’s MortgageWorkSpace™ for Encompass or Calyx or Byte you have secure access to all of your systems.  Your software will run smoother and faster on any computer at any location that has internet services.

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Imagine never needing to worry about updates, back-ups, security or even access. ABT manages it all for you. We have been doing this for over 15 years which is why ABT is the premier MSP provider for Banks, Credit Unions and Mortgage professionals across the country.

         

 

Contact us. We are the mortgage compliance and strategy experts.

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If you would like to read the original article on Ellie Mae’s Blog Site, here is the link;

http://elliemae.com/blog/categories/automation-technology/forget-disaster-recovery-what-are-you-doing-to-ensure-business-continuity

 

 

Topics: ABT Hosting Services

ABT provides Habitat for Humanity Pinellas County's, Mortgage Servicing Solution

Organization:Habitat_for_Humanity_of_Pinellas_County

 

Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County, Florida (HHPC)

  • Using ABT’s unique hosting and managed services for D+H Servicing Director for over 2 years
  • Implemented Calyx PointCentral in the past quarter, for their loan originations.      
  • Both systems are hosted, managed and integrated by ABT
  • ABT provides access anywhere at any time on any computer system (PC and Mac) as well as tablets.

Catalyst for Change:

  • HHPC recognized that regulatory changes meant their then current way of managing mortgage loans would not be compliant.

April 12 2012, HHPC chose Access Business Technologies to help them with their mortgage processes. Note: Their servicing system hosted by ABT was up and running within 90 days.

ABT spent a great deal of time with HHPC, discussing their critical requirements and work flow. We wanted to make sure the servicng solution would fit their current and future needs.

Hurdles faced by HHPC using their previous system:

  • Did not easily allow them to generate yearly escrow analysis statements
  • Did not provide the ability to analyze their portfolio with the detail they required
  • Did not provide an investor report
  • Did not provide the ability to track Homeowner Association Fees (HLA’s)
  • Did not provide the ability to track 2nd Loans
  • Did not provide the ability to track Pronto Agreements
  • Difficult to track late fee transactions and successfully collect them when due

These processes were difficult to apply solid repeatable work-flows and tracking.

While HHPC did their best, the result were inefficiencies in processes, lost monies, and possible compliance issues. “We were very concerned about increasing regulatory changes and that we may fall out of compliance”, stated Jacquie Copp, Mortgage Operations Manager for HHPC.

ABT and HHPC – Working Toward a Solution:                           Working_together

The previous list of “Hurdles”, business processes and work-flows were listed out and our ABT Servicing Director® product specialist along with HHPC personnel, tackled each one.

The results of their efforts is an efficient workflow. Jacquie states, “With ABT’s expertise hosting D+H’s Servicing Director® software, we were able to add work flow to the standard features that are part of the software. We now have automation and accurate reporting capabilities that fit our needs.” Since ABT hosts and manages this platform, and securely deliveries access using cloud technologies. HHPC does not need to worry about updates, backups or falling out of compliance.

A Repeatable “Habitat for Humanity Template” is now available:

“We appreciate the opportunity to work with Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County. They are a dedicated team working hard to better their community” states Chris Schwartz-Edmisten of ABT. “They now have a servicing solution that works very well, providing the compliance and efficiencies they were looking for”

This solution was designed for Habitat for Humanity’s unique requirements. It is a proven solution with over 2 years of “real world” Habitat for Humanity loan servicing work flow behind it. It is a repeatable mortgage servicing “template” that will work for any Habitat for Humanity servicing environment we spin up.

Each group who uses this system will utilize a proven process that follows the unique requirements that face all Habitat for Humanity offices. Each group will have their own instance that can be “private labeled” with their organizational name and logo etc.

HHPC requested a Loan Origination software in order to board loans – In this case Calyx PointCentral was the software that was put in place. PointCentral is also hosted and managed by ABT. Both components can “talk” to one another, ABT can also set up an interface (MortgageExchange™) that moves data from Calyx to the Servicing Director® platform.

Access to the cloud based Habitat for Humanity environment utilizes ABT’s MortgageWorkSpace™  . This web access portal means that users can securely access their environment from any computer (p.c. or Mac) or tablet/iPad. The connection can be made from anywhere (office, home, anywhere there is an internet connection).

ABT’s Habitat for Humanity Solution offers the following:

  • ABT will monitor the system making sure it is available and running at peak efficiency. We provide 99.9% environment up-times.
  • ABT manages your system and maintains the major and minor updates as they are released by the vendors
  • ABT automatically provides data back-ups.
  • ABT provides System Tech Support 24/7/365
  • ABT provides software expertise with a servicing product specialist that can answer your team’s questions
  • ABT’s data centers as well as ABT itself goes through a rigorous SSAE16 Type 2 certification. This certification is an independent audit which examines data protection and integrity

 

Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County, as a locally run affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, is part of a global, nonprofit housing organization operated on Christian principles* that seeks to put God’s love into action by building homes, communities and hope. Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County is dedicated to eliminating substandard housing locally and worldwide through constructing, rehabilitating and preserving homes; by advocating for fair and just housing policies; and by providing training and access to resources to help families improve their shelter conditions.  Habitat for Humanity was founded on the conviction that every man, woman and child should have a simple, durable place to live in dignity and safety, and that decent shelter in decent communities should be a matter of conscience and action for all.

Partnering with our Community.  Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County brings community volunteers, corporate donors, civic organizations and faith groups together to build affordable homes for struggling, low-income families and individuals throughout Pinellas County.

Access Business Technologies (ABT), has successfully hosted mortgage and supporting industry software from the leading mortgage software vendors for over 15 years.  Our clients include banks, credit unions, mortgage bankers, and brokers located nationwide.  These organizations confidently rely on ABT to provide a safe and secure managed environment for their critical client information. We are the mortgage technology and compliance experts.

 

Topics: ABT's Hosted Mortgage Servicing