<img src="http://www.mon-com-net.com/58465.png" style="display:none;">

Mortgage Software Solutions Blog

Three Things to Look for in a Cloud-Based Mortgage Desktop

In today’s business climate, security and workforce needs are constantly changing. Like many other industries, the mortgage industry must face a whole slew of technological challenges, and they need solutions that have been adapted to those ever-changing trends.

One of the biggest trends changing the way mortgage companies do business is the move to the cloud. Cloud-based systems aren’t just limited to data storage these days. In fact, businesses can manage and run their entire desktop from a convenient containerized computing service in the cloud. Services like Access Business Technologies’ MortgageWorkSpace replace the traditional desktop and make it easier and more cost-effective for employees to use the latest versions of the software they know and love, without worrying about installing or reconfiguring their computers. Using cloud-based services also provides employees with greater mobility, allowing them to work from any device in any location and making it easier to stay connected to their team while on the road.

mobile workforceHowever, when moving your business to the cloud, there is a lot to consider. Here are three things to look for in a cloud-based mortgage desktop:

Mobility

One of the greatest benefits of investing in a cloud-based mortgage desktop is the ability to access the software and data you need from wherever you are. This is especially important as you consider how the rise of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies have changed the way the workforce accesses confidential business data.

By offering a mobile solution for your workforce you are allowing them to continue to make vital business decisions even while away from the office. Whether they are working from home or on the road, having the ability to tap into their full desktop (including important mortgage software, applications, and information) from anywhere creates a more powerful and effective workforce.

When accessing confidential customer data on a mobile device, it’s important to keep in mind the security vulnerabilities that may come with that. When looking for mortgage services that meet your mobile needs, it’s important to find a solution that offers protection against security threats and is compliant with Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) IT regulations.

Security

The mortgage industry has to be especially cautious with their security measures, due to the highly-sensitive information they handle every day. When shopping for a cloud-based mortgage desktop, it’s important to not only find a company that checks all of the boxes when it comes to data security, but also one with an industry-recognized name.

One of the benefits of utilizing a cloud-based solution for your mortgage desktop is the fact that your customer data is stored in data centers that feature uninterruptible power, disaster readiness, and heavy restrictions against intruders. MortgageWorkSpace safeguards all of your sensitive mortgage applications, and applications are never sent to or stored on employee devices. Instead, they run on secure and reliable cloud servers certified for financial services companies dealing with sensitive information. Investing in a cloud-based solution means your data is kept safe in top-of-the-line data centers that are SSAE16 Type II and ISO 9001 certified.

Integration

Integrating your software can be a hassle for companies in any industry. When choosing a cloud-based mortgage desktop, finding a service that integrates with all of your existing applications and programs will save your business time and money.

Reentering data can be time-consuming and expensive and can often lead to mistakes. A cloud-based solution that can move data safely and accurately across programs within it’s own suite of applications, as well as with third-party applications, creates a more productive workforce.

ABT Mortgage WorkSpace offers a cloud-based mortgage desktop solution that is trusted by hundreds of mortgage companies across the country and has a 97 percent customer satisfaction rating.

ABT’s platform, PowerCore, provides the infrastructure it takes to bring a secure and easily-accessible desktop to any computer or device with an Internet connection. The platform creates a central location for all of your mortgage data to be stored, reducing the cost of in-house IT and allowing your loan officers to close loans more quickly.

Additionally, ABT’s MortgageWorkSpace service offers a solution that is easy to implement and offers nearly 100 percent uptime. By moving to the cloud, there is no longer a need to worry about updating employee computers one-by-one in order to upgrade mortgage software. This creates a more stable solution to mortgage software needs.

For more information about how your mortgage business can benefit from Access Business Technologies’ cloud-based mortgage solutions, contact us today.

Topics: Mortgage Software Managed Hosting Cloud Services Cloud Mortgage Cloud Services MortgageWorkSpace

How MortgageWorkSpace Secures Data and Builds Powerful Performance for Mortgage Companies

Mortgage companies are now required to adhere to the same stringent regulations for protecting consumer data as banks. These regulations can add to the time it takes to process applications and increase the costs of training your staff on the proper handling of data. To avoid these wasteful expenses, Access Business Technologies has provided mortgage companies with a solution through our MortgageWorkSpace platform. This innovative platform allows mortgage companies to process applications and monitor current client information, while training employees and adjusting business practices to comply with the new regulations.

Adjusting to the CFPB Regulations

Mortgage providers and loan officers work with the tools they have that make them most adaptable to the conditions of the job. Some might choose to use their smart phones or tablets to access information when theyre away from the office, but the new regulations prevent this type of activity due to security issues. Many mortgage providers are being audited to determine how effectively they follow the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) information security regulations. These audits add to costs, take up valuable time, and can have a big effect on consumer confidence. To prevent any interruption in business, mortgage providers can look to MortgageWorkSpace as a vital solution.

MortgageWorkSpace: A Cloud-based Solution

MortgageWorkSpace is a technology platform specifically designed to meet the CFPB information security regulations. It provides mortgage companies with a simple solution that streamlines the work process, while ensuring that business practices are compliant with the new regulations. It also provides a reliable method for staff to collaborate and share information so that normal practices can continue wherever your employees are. MortgageWorkSpace is a flexible, Cloud-based solution that allows mortgage providers and loan officers to access, store, and protect their vital information in one secure location. It can also be easily integrated with a mortgage companys existing software for a seamless transition.

Some of the advantages that a Cloud-based solution offers are:

-Flexible performance that adapts to any software (like Calyx or Encompass)

-Enhanced access to the information and systems you need, whether youre working from the office on a desktop or laptop, or from the road on a mobile device

-24/7 safeguarded protection from security threats

-Dependable network performance, allowing staff to always stay connected

-Automatic software updates and patches to prevent any unauthorized data access and enhance security performance

-Complete, easy-to-implement CFPB compliance

MortgageWorkSpace simplifies the process of adapting to the new regulations. It also consolidates most networking and IT expenses into a single cost, while giving staff the appropriate tools for performing secure, dependable work.

Cost Benefits and Performance Improvements

With MortgageWorkSpaces cutting-edge technology, all expenses for running a network, maintaining storage space and databases, and monitoring security points is reduced into one manageable cost. Access Business Technologies offers all the services mortgage companies need, while following all required regulations. ABTs services also improve performance by allowing employees to work from any device anywhere they have access to an Internet connection. This helps sales teams to be more accessible to their colleagues and to their clients, while converting more leads. Workers can use their desired device (laptop, tablet, or smartphone) and still be within the regulations regarding secure consumer information. Instead of storing data locally on their device, providers and staff will access their records through the MortgageWorkSpace Cloud network.

Consumers today worry greatly about their privacy and securing their information. To handle this demand, newly created regulations require mortgage companies and loan officers to follow strict guidelines that outline the storage, collection, and processing of consumer data. To help manage this with a simple solution, Access Business Technologies developed MortgageWorkSpace: a Cloud-based platform that provides flexible and dependable services to make working with consumer data safer and more effective. The configurable platform provides optimal performance for any selected software application, access through different mobile devices, and the certified security that consumers demand.

For more information about how MortgageWorkSpace configures to the needs of your business, please contact us.

Topics: ABT Cloud Cloud Computing Mortgage Cloud Services MortgageWorkSpace

The Dangers of Ransomware to Your Mortgage Company: Protecting Your Private Data from Hackers

In the last 18 months, the world has seen a sharp rise in attacks on businesses, individuals and even government organizations by hackers using sophisticated malware. One of the most dangerous of all being Ransomware. If you've never heard of Ransomware, it basically hijacks your computer system and allows hackers to lock you out of your personal data until you pay a ransom. This may sound like something out of a movie, but unfortunately, it's not. Ransomware is very real, and it’s costing companies millions of dollars.

Mortgage companies are especially vulnerable to these security threats, due to the sensitive nature of the information they use and store. The dangers of Ransomware have been pinned by the media as one of the most dangerous types of malware in cyberspace. One of the most notorious Ransomware viruses out there, called CryptoWall, has reports of over 992 complaints over the last year alone. The total cost of the damage done goes well over $18 million so far, and the threats are still out there.

With all of their valuable information being held ransom, many companies and individuals actually give in and pay the ransom, with the hope they'll get their computer systems back to normal. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Even after paying the ransom, most computer systems stay hijacked until a very expensive and lengthy fix is performed by IT technicians. Sometimes there is nothing that can be done because no backups were made of your files, and the encryption algorithm used to hold your data hostage is not breakable.

This kind of security breach can be devastating to your mortgage company by slowing or stopping a loan closing, threatening not only your reputation as a business, but also the ability of your customer to buy their home. No doubt you have measures in place that safeguard the data you store and send, but how safe is your data really?

One of the most common places Ransomware originates from is often one of the most overlooked and unsecured: email.

Obviously, emails are an essential part of communication between you, your employees and your mortgage clients, but it can also leave you susceptible to security threats, many of which you may not even be aware.

Here is an in-depth look at how Ransomware can threaten your mortgage company and what you can do to protect yourself from those dangers.

How Ransomware Spreads

Just like any other virus, Ransomware gets hidden in links that look like legitimate email subjects. You've likely already trained your loan officers to watch out for emails that look suspicious. The problem is, many people still get fooled because the emails they receive appear to be legitimate. The hackers who spread Ransomware create very convincing emails with the intention of persuading people to click on the links.

Often, these hackers create emails about financial emergencies, in order to cause your employees to panic and perhaps, think less clearly than they typically would. That’s why it's essential to train your loan officers to be extremely cautious with every email they receive.

Once Ransomware gets into your computer systems, it begins to encrypt the files on your computer and any files you can access on servers connected to your computer, where an encryption method locks you out of your own files. Essentially, these viruses locks up your system to the point where your entire mortgage business shuts down.

At the same time, all the private information you have stored on your systems is available to the Ransomware hackers. On the chance you can still get your system unlocked by paying the ransom, the virus creators could have already used or stored the private data of your clients for their own gain.

The good news is, with the proper security software, none of this should ever happen. That’s why at Access Business Technologies, we've created EmailGuardian to fully protect your mortgage company’s email security.

What EmailGuardian Can Do for You

Our EmailGuardian software gives you better control of your email, and protects both incoming and outgoing data.

Our unique, patented software offers complete protection from spam, viruses, malware, phishing, data leaks and email transmission encryption policies. It also protects against inbound and outbound email-borne threats.

Even in the event of a system outage, EmailGuardian offers seamless protection. Its Email Continuity feature delivers always-on email availability in near real-time, even during an email outage. It also integrates easily with Microsoft Outlook, so that your employees can continue to use their preferred email programs safely and securely.

EmailGuardian also provides unlimited email archiving, so you can securely store and save your emails in the cloud for as long as you want, without having to worry about losing or running out of space on servers.

EmailGuardian’s security features are some of the best in the industry. Not only is your business protected from all threats, but you won't have to risk one of your loan officers inadvertently clicking on a malicious link.

Contact us at Access Business Technologies to find out more about EmailGuardian and how it can protect your mortgage firm from the looming threat of Ransomware.

Topics: ABT Access Business Technologies cyber security dangers of ransomware

5 Ways To Protect Yourself From Suspicious Emails

suspicious_emails

The recent hack on the U.S. Office Of Personnel Management (OPM), which was one of the most serious government cyber attacks of all time, teaches us all some lessons that the mortgage industry should take to heart.

Since the mortgage industry deals with the same kind of sensitive financial information that the OPM had in its database, we can glean some insight from the security breach. While OPM employees will possibly be affected for a long time to come, people just starting out in life may have a mortgage for the next ten, twenty, or thirty years. That's a large part of a person's life, and it can seem a lot longer if that person's Personally Identifying Information (PII) has been compromised.

One of the popular ways that attackers compromise computer systems is through spear phishing. Spear phishing is sending an attachment or a link via email to the employee of a target company in the hope that the employee will open the attachment or click the offered link, thereby introducing a virus or backdoor into the company's computer systems.

Sometimes the approaches are so amateur that the attempts are a bit funny. But the attackers are becoming ever more sophisticated, and not all of the attacks are easy to spot. Many attackers start with publicly available information to craft their phishing emails. This publicly available information may include the names of corporate officers. Suppose you receive an email with the CEO's name as the sender. These are a bit trickier to identify as a suspicious emails than the obvious Nigerian 401 scams.

As spear-fishing emails become more sophisticated, you want to be able to safeguard yourself and your sensitive information. Here are five ways to avoid becoming the victim of a malicious email attachment:

  1. When in doubt, don't open it directly. Save the unopened file to a secure location and run a manual virus scan on it.
  2. Follow policy. One of the first things that malicious software does, even before it begins to steal information from the company, is protect itself. This may mean replicating itself so that virus scanners cannot find it, or creating an administrator account on the compromised system so that a hacker can get back in even if they are discovered and kicked out. Follow your corporate IT policy to make sure that you do not open even one malicious attachment even once.
  3. Use a trusted WaaS. Even if you follow protocol, that might not be enough. Using a WaaS, like MortgageWorkSpace ensures that you are secure, even if you are working remotely. MortgageWorkSpace is like having an all-knowing administrator with you at all times, informing you as to whether or not an action or a website is safe.
  4. Don't assume that "a hacker wouldn't know that." One time a consultant surprised an employee by sending an email to an officer whose email address he did not have any reason to have. That company used the format lastname.firstname@domain.com for their email, and figuring out the officer's email address was not difficult. It's not hard for a hacker, either. Your email address, and the addresses of officers in your company are not top secret. They available on the internet and hackers probably have them.
  5. Recognize the signs. Be especially concerned about emails with suspicious file types attached. For example, an Excel spreadsheet ends in .xls, but a file called spreadsheet.xls.scr does not end in .xls. (.scr in fact is an executable file extension in Windows and is probably a malicious attachment). The same goes for .exes and .coms. For example, vacation-pictures.jpg.exe is not a JPEG graphic, it is an executable and is very suspicious.

As hackers get more sophisticated, so does virus scanning software. Updated virus software is important, but the most effective way to block suspicious email attachments remains an informed user doing the right thing and using a trusted WaaS. Being an informed user means both knowing what best practice is, what to look for, and how to react when you see it. For more information on security best practices, please contact us.

 

What Should I Be Using?

Topics: cyber security