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Why Cyber Security Comes First in the Mortgage Software Market

Why Cyber Security Comes First in the Mortgage Software Market

Equally important: physical security and cyber security.

The finance industry’s data-handling platforms have a clear bulls-eye on them.

The U.S. mortgage industry supply chain is considered a “massive target for information security breaches.” In fact, from 2015 to 2016 the number of data breaches in the United States went up by 40%.

Still, most mortgage lenders sidestep cyber security by shopping for software the old-fashioned way.

Functionality across platforms is comparable, but security is where the largest variation exists amongst current technology offerings. The regulatory and litigation atmosphere surrounding data breaches in 2018 is such that the best mortgage software addresses cyber security first and foremost.

Here is how the best mortgage software on the market is focused on security frameworks first.

The Weakest Link

Poor cyber security has a financial and regulatory impact. This, combined with the negative press of recent international breaches, is what the modern financial institution wants to avoid.

Though large institutions have tight security, an increase in automation and “digital mortgage” online customer interactions means that high-tech services are being farmed out to third-party vendors. Tools like business intelligence (BI) and machine learning (ML) also means data transfer within the industry is nearly constant.

Homebuyer information is especially ripe for hackers because it includes secondary digital assets like credit data.

Though big banks are heavily invested in keeping this data safe, the sharing of borrower data to smaller vendors has caused a disruption in the security systems. The immature security of these third-party service providers has created a weak link in a previously well-fortified industry.

Who is Responsible?

Though it seems like the third-party vendor is the one who should catch up to security norms, the tech newcomers are not being held responsible.

New legislation in the US holds financial institutions responsible for the security level of their third-party vendors—no matter where the data or breach originated from. When a smaller vendor experiences a security event, it is the large mortgage company that is on the hook.

Even if the company avoids catching the eye of regulators, cases of mishandled customer data have executed litigation of $201+ per recorded liability.

Cyber Security Solutions

The solution is to rein in weak spots by employing cyber security technology that goes beyond the traditional server model. It should cover gateways, third-party access, and employ strategies that keep an eye on common but unsafe tech-related practices.

A tech developer called ABT offers a cloud-based platform called MortgageWorkSpace that ticks the right boxes.

ABT works exclusively with the mortgage industry to develop software solutions for lenders and third-party financial institutions in the home buying industry. With the functionality of the lending platforms in place, ABT leads mortgage tech by focusing squarely on cutting-edge cyber security.

Above all, MortgageWorkSpace provides a secure gateway to access lending data. It employs multi-factor authentication and monitors system email use to fend off phishing as well.

Despite increased accountability, mortgage lenders can keep the company name and customers safe by shopping for a platform that puts security first.

Advanced Cyber Security Features

With market demand high, on-board security features distinguish better platforms from those that add build-out security capabilities as an afterthought.

ABT has a built-in consumer protection feature called Remote Desktop which gives mortgage lending employees a cloud-based real-time file management system. Offering functionality to the user, this feature actually prevents the storage of data on local PCs. This Dropbox-like feature means that the employee’s desktop is not only updateable from anywhere, but that files containing sensitive information don’t get downloaded out of the system where security is weakest.

Lenders shopping for top mortgage software should keep an eye out for features like the Remote Desktop that combine user experience with security in a way that is seamless.

Developers who have security at the forefront of their business model will also provide crucial non-tech extras for lenders.

ABT gives clients a written information security policy that outlines the software’s parameters and security compliance rules. This type of documentation may have been overkill in the past, but is increasingly required by state and federal law for legal operations in the U.S.

Though most software shoppers understandably look at usability first, the consumer financial sector increasingly puts cyber security front and center.

Mortgage broker software is no exception. Platforms should have a full range of built-in cyber security solutions, usability features that incorporate digital protection without being clunky, and advanced features that provide extended protection as regulations become more stringent.

As a target for hackers and a trend of increasing legal accountability, cyber security is now the main consideration in the mortgage software market.

Check out the full range of ABT’s security-driven mortgage business products on our website or contact us to learn more.

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Topics: Hosted Software options Mortgage Servicing in the Cloud mobile security mobile device security email security data security mortgage company security financial data security social networking safety phishing multi-factor authentication Business Intelligence cybersecurity mortgage documents security data warehousing

Why Mortgage Companies Need Built-In Compliance Tools

blog pic for Why Mortgage Companies Need Built-InBusiness data is available at your fingertips, but is it protected?

If your mortgage company isn’t talking about advanced data governance, you’ve missed the memo.

Mortgage companies around the world are facing 2018 with a regulatory backlash as a result of data breaches in the US and Europe.

Every company is scrambling to find the best cybersecurity options for financial data and figure out how to comply with stringent reporting regulations at the same time.

How can your mortgage company ensure that you are up-to-date with the newest industry standards in data governance?

Bolt-On vs. Built-In Data Governance

There are two types of compliance tools that financial institutions can use to follow the law.

Bolt-on refers to compliance tools that a business implements to interact with their existing computer-based financial systems.

Built-in refers to governance features that are part of the same computer system that they use to do their daily business activities including customer retention, storage, and database systems.

Bolt-on tools are a non-integrated option from the first wave of computer data compliance. Systems with built-in compliance features and built-in threat protection are the modern solution to meeting compliance standards.

Built-In Compliance Runs at the Speed of Business

The main issue with bolt-on tools is that they lack the visibility necessary to maintain compliance and keep moving at the pace of the company. For example, when working with outside vendors, mortgage companies are responsible for verifying vendor security.

The legal industry reports that using bolt-on tools can delay the on boarding of third-party vendors for up to 17 days and slow down overall revenue growth. Built-in options, due to being native to the system, move faster.

Built-ins can also coordinate with IT permissions on devices such as laptops and tablets used by third-party employees to access sensitive data. They offer high interactivity while bolt-on tends to offer single-process patches for cybersecurity issues.

As regulatory agencies push for never-before-seen requirements, bolt-on solutions don’t make financial sense anymore.

The True Cost of Built-On Compliance

Though switching to a new system is an investment, bolt-on solutions are actually more expensive in the end. The incremental investment is limitless; each new regulation requires a new patch.  

Instead, built-in systems work backwards by going all-in. They offer extreme security features that allow a company to scale back to the compliance limit.

Bolt-on solutions also cost man-hours. It creates busy work for employees who handle information instead of receiving a completed system report. When you factor in confusion and redundancy, the hours start to add up.

In the US, a time lag in reporting can mean trouble. New York State is blazing the trail for new cybersecurity regulations by mandating that mortgage companies have less than 72 hours to officially report a cyber attack or else face financial penalties.

With a built-in system, alerts are immediate and coverage is full from day one. Your financial services institution is protected from the risk associated with litigation and data breach.

Built-In Protection from Data Loss

ABT, a California-based company, has developed a platform for mortgage companies with built-in compliance tools called MortgageWorkSpace.

Systems like this take compliance out of employees’ hands and create strict policies that are enforced by the platform itself.

Since financial institutions are legally required to hold onto sensitive customer data for specific periods of time, a system like this allows the company to write the retention policy directly into the document management system. The system itself identifies, tags, and protects data for archive, even by custom query.

Integrated Security Features

Built-in systems have other data protection features that connect with employee activity.

For example, Felipe the Finance Director receives an email addressed from Ciara the COO but doesn’t notice that it isn’t from her company email address. Because the company email is integrated with the cybersecurity system, Felipe sees an alert that the sender’s email address is suspect and likely a phishing attempt.

Even if Felipe opens the email and clicks on an unsafe link, the system will take Felipe to a safe link where he is alerted again not to proceed. This type of security safety net is possible because built-in security can transparently see activity system-wide and isn’t limited to a single platform.

Built-in security tools helps catch phishing links, unsafe attachments, unsafe webpage links, malware, and spam so that breaches are prevented.

As data governance regulations increase in almost every global financial market, mortgage companies can remain compliant by implementing cybersecurity measures that are fast, transparent, complete, and save the company money in the long run.

The best way to meet these ever-rising regulations is to get outfitted with a platform that handles compliance as a built-in feature of the system.

MortgageWorkSpace is a business solution that allows mortgage companies to comply with full industry requirements regarding sensitive data. Learn more about cybersecurity for mortgage companies by visiting ABT.

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Topics: Mortgage Servicing in the Cloud Access Business Technologies MortgageExchange cyber security information security for mortgage companies DeviceGuardian MortgageWorkSpace data security mortgage company security financial data security multi-factor authentication Business Intelligence cybersecurity mortgage industry cloud-based data Housing Market

Cloud Computing and the Hesitant Mortgage Company

cloud computingCloud computing can empower the mortgage industry by streamlining processes, reducing errors, and improving efficiency. However, some institutions are still a bit hesitant, when it comes to integrating Cloud computing into their strategies.

Cloud Security Alliance has recently released a survey observing the intersectionality of Cloud computing technologies and financial services. The survey discovered that about 61 percent of respondents believed that the Cloud is still in its formative stages, with only a relatively small number of respondents planning to include Cloud computing altogether. None of the respondents noted that they are willing to entrust major applications and systems to a public cloud.

Interestingly enough, the survey puts a spotlight on how financial services, including the mortgage industry, are progressing in terms of including Cloud technology and providers into their repertoire.

The Public Cloud Is Not Enough

When it comes to the mortgage industry, these businesses require more than what a public Cloud can offer. 80 percent of financial services want increased transparency when it comes to auditing controls from Cloud services, especially since the Cloud will inadvertently deal with sensitive and private information.

Encryption, security, and flexibility are real concerns for financial institutions, as respondents indicated that infrastructure capacity was a top concern. Mortgage companies want to work with Cloud providers that are keen to comply with banking regulations, protection protocols, and national regulations. The Cloud has made solid strides in the industry, with the capabilities of Cloud technology improving efficiency on an exponential basis.

Here's how Cloud computing and the mortgage industry can work together, underlining the importance of mortgage professionals and their customers.

Why Use a Mortgage Vertical Cloud Provider?

The banking standard of information security now applies to all mortgage companies. A mortgage vertical cloud provider must have its regulatory compliance certifications. As a result, you are better protected with a certified mortgage vertical cloud provider.

A mortgage vertical cloud provider understands your mortgage business. A mortgage vertical cloud provider can protect your servers, computer desktops, software applications, and even the way your browser accesses the internet against new cybersecurity threats.  

It is time to get serious about information security.  Fannie Mae’s CIO, Anthony Johnson, during a panel discussion at the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) annual 2015 conference said, ““In my view, there is only one thing that could absolutely destroy a company overnight, and that is [a lack of] cybersecurity.”

The Cloud Is Highly Accessible

Cloud services can be accessed from a tablet, smartphone, and PC, as well as from different operating systems. Mortgage Cloud providers also have specific mortgage industry applications that work with the Cloud, further expanding the influence and capabilities of the mortgage professional. Cloud integration works with data warehousing to bring mortgage software platforms together seamlessly.

Additionally, Cloud computing has empowered online business and allowed mortgage professionals from different niches to be able to engage customers remotely and securely store their information in the Cloud. When implemented correctly, the Cloud can mediate errors and complete tasks, like credit stipulation, with the click of a button.

Mortgage applications and Cloud computing also reinforce trust with customers. In the study noted above, 18 percent of all smartphone owners note that they are willing to apply for certain financial products right through the convenience of their mobile devices. This is particularly important for future-proofing a mortgage company, as millennials prefer companies and brands that have a strong presence in the digital sphere. Generation Y is a generation that is particularly open to working with mortgage companies and cloud computing, even willing to apply for a home loan right from their personal device. Mortgage Cloud applications also allow the mortgage industry to:

  • Close Deals Faster

    Required documents can be easily accessed with Cloud computing, with apps being able to help mortgage professionals conceptualize when they should initiate with certain applicants. Cloud computing can notify when it is appropriate to reach out to a customer or when to upsell certain services.

  • Mortgage Applications Underlined the Importance of Customer Service 

    Being able to respond quickly and efficiently to a notification is a hallmark of a competent mortgage loan officer. In today's competitive market, loan officers need to be able to access information quickly, especially in a market driven by commodity and cutthroat tactics.

To learn more about how the right mortgage cloud provider can help you execute with technology, contact us today.

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Topics: Cloud Services ABT Mortgage Servicing in the Cloud Cloud Mortgage Servicing Cloud Computing Mortgage Cloud Services

Mortgage Loan Servicing now in the cloud

More and more mortgage lenders are utilizing software tools including loan servicing through cloud solutions, not just in an effort to save overhead, but also to streamline their current infrastructure. There are multiple reasons to upgrade to cloud-based mortgage loan servicing over in-house servicing. 

Changing Times

 Many IT professionals encourage the proactive switch to cloud-based applications, because so many upcoming software upgrades are designed for use only in the cloud. The bulk of research and development efforts also are turning toward the ultimate goal of mortgage loan servicing now in the cloud. Ever-changing technology puts an increased burden of demand on credit unions to keep up through continual software and hardware upgrades.

Why the cloud?

Software companies love cloud-based hosting because it’s much easier for them to license and release new products, as well as provide updates and upgrades to existing ones. NewerUsing Software in the Cloud developers are now providing software exclusively for the cloud rather than offering in-house options. Credit unions benefit from increased ease of access to the newest technologies while shifting some of the workload away from their existing IT staff. The need for constant upgrades is similarly removed. Credit unions are also saved from compliance concerns, because that responsibility falls to their vendors instead.

Ideal for small credit unions                                  

 Small credit unions are already struggling to find and maintain trained personnel for the high-stress demands necessary for efficient mortgage servicing. Switching to mortgage loan servicing now in the cloud frees up valuable resources, removing the strain of keeping up in-house equipment and training upgrades for IT personnel. In the past, hardware advances have changed so quickly as to make it nearly impossible to keep up without regular system overhauls, which can be quite costly. Cloud-based hosting removes that burden from the credit unions themselves, allowing for their priority to return instead to increased customer focus.

Staying ahead of the curve

Because cloud technology is so new and its popularity is just now beginning to grow, credit unions who switch to cloud-based hosting sooner will stand above their competition. In addition to making more efficient use of their resources, they’ll also be able to take fullCloud Mortgage Software from ABT advantage of the increased time-to-market afforded by cloud hosting. The capability of offering multiple integrated services is also increased when moving to cloud-based mortgage servicing.

Safe and secure

Cloud-based hosting services for mortgage loan service providers are more likely and able to use cutting edge security precautions using the newest technology. Older in-house systems remain more vulnerable, with an increased risk for outages. Smaller credit unions may not have the staff or know-how needed to provide and maintain compliant, secure systems. Many security experts suggest that mortgage loan servicing now in the cloud provides increased safety advantages over in-house servicing.



Topics: Mortgage Servicing in the Cloud Cloud Mortgage Servicing