Mortgage Software Solutions Blog

Mortgage Company Security is Vital for Long-Term Sustainability

Mortgage companies gather loads of personal data from applicants and customers, making the security measures they put in place of the utmost importance. Traditional IT systems provide little (if any) protection from security breaches, theft or loss of hardware, or unexpected disasters. As a result, mortgage firms need to find solutions that will keep both their and their clients’ information safe.

Mortgage company security is vital for sustainability, as no other factor has as much potential to ruin your business. Your mortgage company could employ the best loan officers in the country and provide industry-leading service, but it only takes one data security incident to seriously threaten the success and growth of your business. Between the possibility of litigation, the media exposure, the money lost from wary customers, and the time spent dealing with the damage and the recovery of lost data, a single breach could do irreparable harm to your business.

This is where ABT's cloud-based mortgage software solution, MortgageWorkSpace®, can help your company attain optimal security. Access Business Technologies has created a unique, comprehensive solution for mortgage companies to secure every level of their business.

Mortgage-company-securityHere are three reasons ways ABT's cloud-based solutions provide the security mortgage companies need:

  • They provide a central point of management.
  • Everything is stored in a secure location in the Cloud.
  • They increase a mortgage company’s ability to prevent and respond to security issues.

Central Point of Management

When a piece of hardware is stolen, hacked into, or destroyed because of an accident or disaster, managers can simply call upon ABT's support services from their central point of management. Even if all hardware in the office is wiped out in a disaster, users can access their MortgageWorkSpace® in the cloud, from any device, to manage recovery and security processes.

Secure Location in the Cloud

ABT’s secure cloud servers make mortgage data instantly accessible and recoverable, from any device, in any location.

If a laptop is stolen in the night, all the sensitive information it stores is not only safe from falling into the wrong hands, but also able to be accessed remotely from MortgageWorkSpace’s® cloud interface. Users then have the ability to remotely wipe the hard drive on the stolen or lost device, rendering it useless to a thief or hacker. Work can continue without much interruption, and client and company data remains secured and encrypted.

The ABT Mortgage Cloud removes security risks by simply placing all sensitive data in our secure cloud server. All of your business’s documents are stored in your document vault in the cloud.

Improved Ability to Prevent and Respond to Security Issues

ABT is proud to boast a 97 percent customer satisfaction rate, and our ability to provide quick and expert support for security issues is a major part of that success. The mortgage industry, and the security issues facing it, are changing rapidly as technology continues to advance. This means that the security solutions mortgage companies implement must continuously advance and adapt as well.

Migrating to a cloud-based software like MortgageWorkSpace® gives mortgage companies the support and tools to prevent and recover from any security issue. With our excellent support staff and top-of-line encryption technology, we can help you prevent security breaches from occurring and respond swiftly in the incident that one does. Twenty-four-seven tech support is a great asset to have when trying to find quick answers to security issues that have occurred.

There are many other benefits of using our innovative solutions, but none is more important than reaching optimal security and compliance with your mortgage systems. MortgageWorkSpace® has made business easier and secure for the more than 500 customers we serve.

Seamless integration with our powerful partners, makes migrating your mortgage office to the cloud that much easier. Our experienced team has expertise in Calyx, JVI Solutions, Microsoft products, Office 365, and more. Your current software systems can stay in place and be managed more efficiently with the advanced tools available on your MortgageWorkSpace® interface. If you’re interested in learning more, please contact us today.

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Topics: mortgage company security financial data security

Can Your Mortgage Company Meet California's Information Security Requirements?

As a lender, are you protecting the privacy and personal information of the borrowers you serve? Data security is a vital responsibility that you take on when you accept personal information from your clients.

When borrowers fill out that mortgage application or provide financial documents, they are trusting your company to keep that information safe. And you have an ethical obligation—and increasingly, a legal one—to do just that.

California's Push for Information Security

California state officials are pushing for a clear minimum standard that mortgage companies and other businesses of all sizes must adhere to in order to avoid breaches of personal data. They are also working to create a set of guidelines that state officials can use to enforce accountability. California isn't likely to be the only state requiring more attention to data protection. Other states will also be demanding that mortgage lenders and other financial companies meet the standard.

With the February release of the 2016 California Data Breach Report, state Attorney General Kamala Harris has spelled out what expectations California has for its businesses to protect important customer data.

"[M]any of the breaches reported to us could have been prevented by taking reasonable security measures, and an organization that voluntarily chooses to collect and retain personal information takes on a legal obligation to adopt appropriate security controls," Harris wrote in the report's introduction.

The report suggests that all organizations which collect personal information need to meet the 20 critical security controls set out by the Center for Internet Security, and that not doing so shows a lack of responsibility for clients' security and a failure to meet the minimum standard of care.California-pushes-for-greater-Information-Security

The CIS Critical Security Controls

If you aren't sure about your firm's data security, the 20 critical security controls that the California Data Breach Report references are a good starting point. The controls are listed in priority order, and they work in concert to help you create complete security for your data. For example, the 12th control involves protecting laptops and mobile devices. Before you can do that, you must have met the first control, which is to know the devices you have and where they are located.

To help businesses implement these controls, the Center for Internet Security has provided information that explains each action and why it is important. Special attention was given to making sure the controls were implementable for organizations of all sizes, including small businesses.

Putting the controls in place won't stop every hacker or prevent your employees from making mistakes with data handling, but they do represent the best practices that your organization should be following, no matter the size. By taking these steps to actively keep data safe, you prove to your customers, and to your entire staff, that you are taking data security seriously.

Specific Data Security Issues in the Financial Industry

About 18 percent of all the security breaches that occurred in California during 2015 were in the financial sector, which accounted for 13 million individual compromised records. The most common breached data in financial businesses? Social Security numbers. They were compromised in 75 percent of the financial sector's security breaches.

While financial breaches were much less likely to be caused by hackers or malware compared to retail sector breaches, they are more likely to happen because of an internal human error, such as:

  • Sending personal information to the wrong recipients
  • Accidentally posting personal information to a public website
  • Failing to properly dispose of personal information
  • Allowing unauthorized employees to access personal information

This means that mortgage companies need to be especially concerned with having processes in place that protect information from being accidentally released or compromised.

Next Steps to Take

Implementing the 20 controls and staying on top of other data security requirements can be a challenge for mortgage companies. Often, loan officers take work home; are they protecting data in all the locations from which they work? Many mortgage companies are smaller firms; do they have the resources in place to implement these controls?

The answer is using a third-party platform that can exceed security requirements, while making it easy for employees get their work done. A tool like MortgageWorkSpace™ from Access Business Technologies allows companies of all sizes to get work done securely from any location. Here's what the DocumentGuardian® component of ABT's software does:

  • Uses the latest encryption and banking standard protocols, including 256-bit encryption and SSL/TLS transfer protocols, to ensure information is kept safe from security breaches, hackers and identity thieves.
  • Allows emails and files to be transferred using the same high-end encryption.
  • Provides a secure workspace environment so you are not storing financial data on individual computers, laptops, or mobile devices.
  • Maintains files in an ultra-secure, state-of-the-art, enterprise-class data center.

Using the right software platform can also minimize the risk that employees will make critical errors that lead to the public release of private data. It is important that the software is not just secure, but it’s easy to use.  Making sure you provide secure easy to use software increases compliance and therefore increases security.

Contact us for more information on using MortgageWorkSpace™ to secure your mortgage company's data. Doing so can help you comply with state and federal audits and give you the peace of mind that you are keeping your borrowers safe.


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Topics: mobile security mobile device security mobile workforce

How Software "Solutions” are Creating Conflict Between Your Mortgage Data Sources

how new technology and SaaS applications are creating conflict between your mortgage data sourcesThe pace of software solutions and technological upgrades in the financial market has been remarkable. There are countless Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions now available to help manage, distribute, and optimize financial products and mortgage data. While each solution has a specific benefit, the combination of them all can create significant conflict and dissonance between systems. As a result, more and more mortgage companies are finding themselves in need of a cost-effective data interface solution that can create better data harmony.

 

 

The Cost of Data Conflict

 

Data conflict results in lost time, money, and effort for mortgage companies. Not only does data conflict cost your loan officers time as they try to locate the information they need, but it can also cause them to make costly and unnecessary mistakes. For example, running a credit check and making a mortgage decision usually require pulling data from different sources. A mismanagement or misunderstanding of the data could result in a poor credit decision, causing you to lose a good customer (or gain a bad one), and costing you money in the end.

 

 

Your loan officers need up-to-date information about their industry and the clients they work with, in order to succeed in their jobs. Perhaps a borrower has a lien or a default in recent months that is not appearing in their financial history. If the loan officer is pulling data from the wrong source or mortgage data isn’t synchronized across systems, they could easily make a costly mistake. Only a system that is able to create data harmony in real-time can solve this problem.

 

How MortgageExchange Can Help

 

Access Business Technologies’ MortgageExchange solution, solves the data conflict problem, once and for all, in a low-cost and efficient way. Fundamentally, it unites the back ends of your mortgage software systems to create one unified interface. There is no loss of data, and mortgage loan officers gain greater control over the important information they need and use every day. The solution leverages the power of a third-party cloud, along with many data providers, to aggregate and streamline your different mortgage systems. Companies like Fiserv, Ellie Mae, and Accenture provide support for the secure cloud solution.

 

For example, credit unions are generally community-based credit and financial organizations. Their mortgage products serve the local population, and they have many ways to analyze credit through local data. On the other hand, some of their mortgage systems are based on national lending and data standards. The problem is that these two systems often conflict. Without a unified platform, it can require a lot of time and effort to synchronize and compare data, even using a manual tool like Excel. But with MortgageExchange, mortgage companies have the option of seamless integration. Tower Federal Credit Union is one credit union that benefits from our MortgageExchange platform.

 

The platform also provides a real-time analytics feed to help managers make smarter decision and operate more effectively. The NASA Federal Credit Union is used to working with scientists, engineers, and their families. Just as scientists are expected to be up to date with the newest technology and data, so should their financial providers. The NASA Federal Credit Union, as well as a host of other financial firms and credit unions, take advantage of MortgageExchange’s real-time analytics to make the best decisions for themselves and their customers. Not only does the platform crunch the numbers on an individual applicant, it takes into account the national financial trends to provide a more accurate interest rate and default rate probability.

 

As the MortgageExchange platform gains more and more users, Access Business Technologies (ABT) continues to grow and expand. ABT is a leading provider of hosted, cloud-based software that has been created with the purpose of helping the mortgage industry manage their data and software more easily, more securely, and more harmoniously. For more information about our mortgage solutions, please contact us. Our friendly consultants will help you understand how our products can efficiently reduce your workload and aggregate data from across all your SaaS systems.

MortgageExchange

Topics: ABT Cloud Computing MortgageExchange data interface solution create better data harmony

5 Ways DocumentGuardian Helps Mortgage Companies Protect Borrowers

protecting-borrowers-private-documentsCredit unions and mortgage companies are entrusted with some of clients’ most private information. From social security numbers to bank statements, it’s imperative that those companies are taking measured steps to protect borrowers and their private documents from cybersecurity threats.Often the borrowers themselves place their information in jeopardy when they send non-public information via unencrypted emails. This places many lenders in a predicament. Somehow, they must maintain trust, security, and compliance, without sacrificing client efficiency and convenience. Though achieving this balance was once a problem for mortgage companies, there is now a tool available that can do just that: DocumentGuardian. 

Here are five ways DocumentGuardian can help mortgage companies protect their borrowers and maintain regulatory compliance with ease.

  • Encourages Better Borrower Habits

The mortgage lending process requires borrowers to supply loan officers with a great deal of private and sensitive information. Unfortunately, most borrowers aren’t thinking about their own cybersecurity when they send that information. They often assume that because they are sending these files to a trusted source, their files are in good hands. 

These bad habits can not only result in borrowers’ information being intercepted or stolen, but they can also reflect poorly on the mortgage companies involved. When lenders are audited, government agencies blame them for any client-produced security blunders, and this blame isn't entirely misplaced. With pressure from customers and looming deadlines, some lenders are tempted to take careless security risks.

Responsible loan officers educate their clients on what they can and cannot send via unsecured email. After educating customers on the importance of sending non-public personal information (NPI) through secure means, lenders can use DocumentGuardian to provide them with an easy solution that encourages better security habits from the start.

  • Eases Pain Points

The truth is, customers are more concerned with avoiding pain points and inconvenience than they are with complying with regulations. So, it’s up to mortgage companies to ease any potential pain points, while still protecting their borrowers and maintaining compliance. Solutions like DocumentGuardian supply both mortgage companies and borrowers with a tool that makes sending and receiving client documents safe and easy, reducing the numerous clicks, passwords, and log-ins typically involved in secure transactions. 

DocumentGuardian offers clients a simple-to-use interface that allows them to securely send documents and information, eliminating their pain points and yours.

To use the feature, mortgage officers supply customers with a link to a private, secure webpage. For easy customer access, this link can even be included in the loan officer's email signature. The customer opens the link, without needing any logins or complicated passwords. Then, they simply drag and drop their documents to the secure web page. 

  • Stores Information Securely in the Cloud

Once the files are scanned for viruses, DocumentGuardian stores them in secure Cloud data centers, not on mobile apps or desktop hard drives where there is an increased risk of files being hacked. For this reason, compliance auditors prefer secure Cloud storage to file-sharing apps.

Secure storage benefits mortgage companies because there is no need to download additional software or security updates, and there is an added layer of protection that safeguards sensitive information. As part of the MortgageWorkspace suite of services, DocumentGuardian regularly updates to stay within regulatory compliance and to adapt to changing security demands. 

  • Transfers, Downloads, and Uploads Encrypted Files

When clients send NPI through open, unsecured connections, they run the risk of man-in-the-middle security breaches, among other types of attacks. During this type of breach, the hacker is able to monitor traffic and even intercept or compromise messages, such as emails. 

DocumentGuardian technology doesn't require a login. Instead, clients drag and drop their documents into a secure web page (click to view a sample page) through the link you have supplied. The documents are then uploaded to your secure file on the cloud. This completely eliminates the opportunity for hackers to read messages as they are sent and received. 

From there, the SSL 256-bit encrypted documents are accessed as needed. You are able to manage and further secure documents by setting an expiration date for documents that are only needed temporarily. 

  • Track and Record Activity

Once files are uploaded, the client gets a receipt that documents the transaction. On the lender side, all activity on the secure web page is logged and archived. In the event of an audit, this information is readily available.

 For most mortgage customers, few things are more daunting than complex paperwork. Ease customer pain points by supplying your clients with familiar drag-and-drop options. When the process is easier for them, it is easier for you too. DocumentGuardian is available to any user of MortgageWorkSpace. For more information on DocumentGuardian, the latest addition to ABT’s MortgageWorkSpace platform, please contact us.

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Topics: email security data security DocumentGuardian