Mortgage Software Solutions Blog

ABT Security Recommendations: Creating Stronger Passwords for Stronger Protection

Hackers are more persistent now than ever before, and they’ll stop at nothing to get at your sensitive data. International hackers are now specifically targeting mortgage companies because of the wealth of personal information contained in their systems. Mortgage businesses are among the largest security targets, due to the fact that they deal with the largest amount of personal information that can be used for identity theft.

Fortunately, protecting your mortgage business from security threats is possible, and though it may seem like common sense, strong passwords can be a crucial line of defense. Access Business Technologies (ABT) has a few recommendations for keeping your organization secure through strong passwords.

ABT-Security-Recommendations-Creating-Strong-PasswordsUpdate Passwords Regularly

The most important thing to remember about passwords is to change them regularly—at least once every three months. Having the same corporate or personal password for years and years leaves you very vulnerable to a security breach. Keeping the same password increases your chances that a previous hack, or attempted hack, that captured your password could be reused to finally crack your systems. If you systems don’t automatically force you to change your password, make sure to set a calendar reminder to change your password on a regular basis, and require your entire staff to do the same.

Longer Passwords are Stronger Passwords

The next step to creating a secure password is to make sure it is has enough characters. Each additional character you use makes the password more secure and exponentially more difficult to crack. In particular, if you are choosing from the 26 letters, 10 numbers and 10 symbols in your password selection, you have an enormous amount of combinations. With just 2 characters you have over 70 trillion different combinations. Even though this sounds like a lot, a decent computer could use "brute force" to try every combination in just a few hours and eventually crack your password. However, if you use 8 characters, as is now standard, you would have 3.5 x 10 to the 41st different combinations. Computers today are simply not powerful enough to try every possible combination to guess your password in reasonable amount of time.

We recommend that users have passwords at least eight characters long, utilizing a combination of symbols, numbers, and letters. Case-sensitive passwords with uppercase and lowercase letters can also expand the universe of potential passwords, making yours even more secure.

Avoid Personal Passwords

Although the number of combinations for a given password is very large, hackers know that you will not usually use a randomly generated password. Instead, you will use familiar names, words, and numbers. For that reason, it is important not to include your own name, your birth date, or your company name. In fact, using an incomplete word is best of all. If your favorite baseball team is the Boston Red Sox and you want to incorporate it into your password, you might use "BOstOnrEdoX!04.” While this combination would make sense to you, with the "S" missing from Sox and the 04 indicating the first year that they won the world series, a computer algorithm would have a much tougher time guessing this combination.

Another trick is to replace symbols for letters. These are easy for us to read but difficult for computer programs to guess. For example, substitute 3 for E, $ for S and @ for A or the word "and." For example, "best" could become "b3st", "standard" becomes "$tandard," and "badminton" becomes "b@dminton." Together, these tricks make your password much more difficult to hack.

Make Every Password Unique

Lastly, try to make sure that each password you choose is different from the previous ones that you have used. Each time that you change a password, use different semi-familiar words with different combinations of symbols, uppercase letters, lowercase letters and numbers. Make sure that each category is represented each time that you change passwords.

ABT is a leader in keeping mortgage businesses secure through our unique cloud platform. Remembering many different passwords, especially when they’re changing frequently, can be hard. Fortunately, ABT's MortgageWorkSpace® solution has a single sign-on (SSO) feature that securely stores all of your passwords in one place, so you only have to remember one “Master Password.” MortgageWorkSpace® also offers multi-factor authentication (MFA), which is now required for mortgage companies and which, in combination with SSO, further reduces potential security risks. For more information on how you can use our platform to help your business succeed and stay safe, please contact us.

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Topics: MortgageWorkSpace data security creating strong passwords

Improve Mortgage Company Security with Centralized Cloud Computing

More and more, financial institutions are being forced to grapple with security issues, concerning the advanced technologies their employees and vendors are using in day-to-day business. While some are embracing SaaS cloud computing for a more centralized and secure way of lending, others are apprehensive about embracing the transition.

The truth is, traditional IT departments are failing to adapt to the increasing security demands of the modern technology that their employees and vendors are using. This failure shows a valid need for financial companies to find a secure and centralized cloud computing system that provides their workforce with the tools they need for optimal efficiency.Mortgage-company-security

Mobile Workforces are the Game Changer

Advanced mobile technology is changing the way mortgage companies and their clients interact and do business in the world today. The availability of efficient apps, through smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices, is giving mortgage professionals more tools and options with which to conduct business. The problem is that many of these options may not be approved by traditional IT departments and often create security risks.

For instance, if an employee uses Gmail to send and save sensitive data or a note-taking app to track unsecured customer information, they could be putting that information at risk, without even realizing it. For large institutions (with hundreds or thousands of employees), controlling the apps used to conduct day-to-day business with clients is becoming more difficult for their IT departments.

The risk of sensitive data being leaked through an unsecured cloud-based app (from an employee or vendor) is a real problem. As this becomes an increasingly common challenge for mortgage lenders, the best solution is to find a reliable, cloud-based software provider to partner with.

How Transitioning to the Cloud Can Help Mortgage Company Security

By transitioning to a secure, cloud-based platform, mortgage companies can provide their employees with the advanced mobile tools they need, while ensuring a controlled secure environment for all sensitive data.

Access Business Technologies provides a flexible cloud platform called MortgageWorkSpace®, which is designed specifically for mortgage companies. This SaaS will support and protect mortgage professionals and customers throughout the entire lending process. No longer will lending professionals need to use unsecured apps to conduct efficient day-to-day tasks, as ABT gives them tools such as:

  • Email encryption
  • Custom email signatures
  • Security Compliance
  • Custom cloud interface
  • Document management
  • Multiple system back-ups

Through our MortgageExchange™, we can seamlessly connect third-party services to a client's work space in our secure private cloud. And with our DocumentGuardian, your clients will have a secure, fast, and easy way to share their personal documents with lenders.

No longer will documents and secure data from borrowers be stored on individual computers and devices. With ABT’s suite of mortgage security services, you can access all of your data in one centralized, secure data center. This means more control and easier access to the important documents needed for day-to-day business.

Centralize for Security and Ease of Access

ABT's MortgageWorkSpace® is an innovative SaaS that gives financial institutions the perfect solution for creating a secure and controlled environment. MortgageWorkSpace® acts as a secure mobile desktop that provide seamless access to all of the applications and software systems your company knows and loves.

An entire workforce will have access to an easy-to-use interface, which integrates all of the current technologies your mortgage professionals need to conduct efficient and secure business with their clients.

No longer will financial institutions have to worry about vulnerabilities caused by unsecured mobile devices or applications used by your workforce. Through the cloud workspace portal, they can access email, files, databases, software applications, and programs anywhere, at any time, and on any device!

Financial institutions are faced with a future of ever-growing regulations concerning security and compliance, as well as rapidly advancing technologies, which their traditional IT departments may be struggling to keep up with. In light of these challenges, many mortgage companies are seeking a centralized cloud computing solution.

ABT is dedicated to helping mortgage companies secure their valuable data without sacrificing speed and efficiency. To learn more about how ABT can help your company make the cloud transition, please contact us today.

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Topics: ABT MortgageWorkSpace mortgage company security