Improving Mortgage Industry Cyber Security Through Secure Communications
Cyber Crime, including phishing and hacking are nothing new, but in recent years, the amount of Cyber Crime specifically targeting real estate transactions has skyrocketed.
In May 2015, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) issued an alert to its members warning of variations on a fraud scheme in which hackers access a realtor’s email account to gain contact information and transaction specifics. The hackers then use those specifics to impersonate a legitimate party to the transaction and convince buyers to wire money intended for closing costs directly to the hacker.
In March 2016, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) expanded this alert to include a warning to potential home buyers. There are plenty of variants on this scam, but they can all be distilled to one important message for the mortgage industry and its clients: Email is not a secure enough channel for communicating such sensitive information.
Before incidents like these became so common, real estate transactions were not handled as particularly high-security matters, despite the fact that there is a wealth of personal information available through these transactions, which Cyber Criminals can exploit. The banking industry uses closed, high-security networks like ACH and SWIFT to protect their data and transactions. These network segments are isolated from other segments, so even a breach in one network segment won’t result in the hackers gaining access to the entire system.
Regulations like TRID and GSE’s mandated closing data create a larger flow of sensitive data flowing between interested parties in a real estate transaction, which makes the need for secured communications even more urgent. By creating a closed system for all parts of real estate transactions, the data hackers most want to steal is contained in a segmented network with authenticated login and encryption. Data within a secure communications network can be shared among users without the need for external expedients like email.
All interested parties are part of the secure network, so there’s no need to send information through email, and users can communicate through applications that are integrated parts of that network. Because the security protocols are embedded in the applications, they cannot be bypassed, which helps to eliminate human error or complicity. The integrated applications prevent critical data from going out over an unsafe channel like email or unsecured file transfer.
Envision the secure network like a stainless steel enclosure with no visible doors or windows, which email and standard password entry represent. It’s too slippery for hackers to climb, and the enclosure will only open after it receives proper verification of the identity of a person trying to gain access. There’s nothing to pry open, no way to get a peek inside, and vulnerabilities opened by human actions are minimized through this heightened security.
Easy Soft Offers Full BeesPath ClosingBridge Integration
The BeesPath ClosingBridge platform is that secured network for the mortgage industry. The Easy Soft Real Estate Closing software suite offers full integration with the encrypted security and assurance of ClosingBridge, and provides guaranteed TRID compliance and significantly faster processing of closings. Exchange information efficiently and securely, complete your transactions faster, and rest assured that your critical data will remain private.