Rapid digitization and increased mobile usage have brought numerous benefits, but at the same time they have demonstrated the threat and vulnerability to security and privacy issues. According to the World Bank Group Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF), Fintech providers have witnessed a hike of 15% in cybersecurity threats, thus creating a dire need for the regulators to be equipped with the necessary resources to ensure efficient cybersecurity and data privacy for the end consumers. In this article we will be focussing on two important aspects of information security:

    1. The role of cyber security in ransomware attacks
    2. Key data protection strategies that can be applied to avoid ransomware attacks

Title Insurance Industry Brief:

The surge of automation within the title industry has paved the way for faster communication, lesser human errors through technological advancements, and rapid movement to paperless closings – all with the intent of delivering a superior user experience. While it is important to implement technologies that enable us to meet higher customer expectations, it also imperative to focus on the set of risks these come with. According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), ransomware losses totaled $29.1 million last year, with 2,474 formal ransomware complaints filed through the organization in 2020.

What is ransomware?

Traditionally, ransomware is a kind of malicious software that encrypts a user’s files, making them impossible to access without a key. In exchange for that key, a user must pay a ransom to the attackers withholding the data.

Source: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/nation/why-ransomware-attacks-are-on-the-rise-and-what-can-be-done-to-stop-them

Ransomware is a nightmare for enterprises of any size and in all industries – as these can be successfully infiltrated any day when any of their users clicks on that one bad email or URL that slips past corporate security. According to Mimecast, more than 6 out of 10 companies have suffered a ransomware attack last year and 79% of the organizations were hurt due to lack of cyber preparedness.

Due to rapid increase in cyberattack incidents, our customers, a lot of them title agents, have questions like:

    1. How do we protect our business from cyber threats?
    2. What do we do to comply with financial industry regulations?
    3. How do we maintain better lender/banking and underwriter relationships by providing the information these stakeholders need?

In order to solve the challenges, we need to first understand about the role of cyber security in ransomware attacks.

The role of cyber security in ransomware attacks

Nowadays Title insurance and settlement agencies are becoming easy targets of phishing schemes, account takeover attacks, wire fraud, and ransomware attacks. If we consider today’s continuously growing cyber threat landscape, firewalls and antivirus are just not enough for protection. Organizations require the capability to detect, protect, and respond to the cyber-attacks quickly.

Cybersecurity plays an essential part in data protection since it encompasses activities such as protecting computer systems and networks against data breaches, hardware theft or damage, and so on. Therefore, it is imperative for organizations to adopt a risk-informed approach which will help them address the most important security risks, instead of addressing the risks that they already know. Following are the some preventive measures to be followed:

    • Adopt a proactive approach rather than a reactive approach
    • Upgrade operating systems and application software with latest versions
    • Implement best security practices within the organization
    • Conduct timely training and awareness sessions around cybersecurity laws with the employees
    • In order to curb the risk organizations should implement and upgrade the cybersecurity measures like two-factor authentication (an additional layer of security beyond password that reduces the risk of hackers accessing sensitive information), encryption, etc.

Is there a role for experts in cyber protection?

Obviously, cybersecurity is becoming a complex and ever-changing area – and it may be hard for businesses to focus on these specifics, while trying to run their mainstream title insurance, tax reporting or settlement services business, for example. That would be the time to reach out to an experienced services provider that can partner to implement, maintain and enhance cybersecurity programs.

Third parties, like our organization SLK Global Solutions, can directly help. We detect information security threats in an efficient and cost-effective manner.  We optimize risk management programs by leveraging our deep cross-industry and domain specific expertise around various aspects of the information security & risk management functions.

SLK Global Solutions is a global provider of digital platforms and business process management solutions. Founded in 2001, we have been partnering with the financial services industry for over 20 years and are now a part of Coforge, a global leader in IT solutions. Backed by a team of nearly 7,000+ professionals dedicated to offering Business Process solutions, we are committed to providing customized services that streamline and transform our clients’ businesses across Banking, Mortgage, Title Insurance & Tax, Consumer Lending and Insurance. Today, our partners include several Top 25 U.S. Banks, Top 10 Mortgage Lenders, Insurance Intermediaries and Fortune 500 companies.

SLK Global helps title insurance and tax service customers improve efficiency in their business processes, continuously optimizes customer experience while managing compliance & business risk and reducing costs. Our suite of business process services, include Omni-channel contact center solutions, Risk Management, Identity & Access Management, Business continuity services, vendor management, phishing monitoring and IT Security,

SLK Global Solutions has been offering its services to the banking, mortgage, and financial services industries for more than a couple of decades, and hence clearly understands the importance of risk management and the severity of the situation.  We have obtained certifications to avoid cyber risks and stay compliant with the ever-changing regulations – these certifications include

    1. ISO 27001:2013 (for Information Security Management),
    2. ISO 9001:2015 (for Quality Management),
    3. SSAE – SOC 1 & 2 (for financial controls),
    4. ISO 22301:2012 (for business continuity)
    5. PCI DSS V3.2 (for payments)

Highlights of SLK Global’s Title Insurance and Tax Reporting service capabilities

SLk Global also offers smart solutions for the Title Insurance and Tax service industry – like SmartProp® property title search reports that can be delivered in 2 hours, and SmartTrak® property tax reports backed by 100% financial guarantee, enabling title agents to partner with a single vendor for multiple real estate reporting and tracking needs. We deliver 1 million Title searches and 200,000 Tax reports annually, to 100+ U.S. Title & Tax customers.

Powered by 21 years of industry experience, our Title Insurance support services are trusted by 100+ title & tax agents including 6 of the largest U.S. title insurance underwriters.

Our professionals annually support:

    • Over 5.1M Title related activities with 0.5M in Title Search & Exam
    • 3.9M in Typing/ Indexing
    • 0.6M in Easement Plotting/ Hyperlink
    • 200K tax and municipal lien certificates

For more information/success stories, check the following links:

Conclusion:

With the spike in ransomware attacks, the title insurance and related industries need to be on a high alert and on the look-out for protecting data loss by adopting preventive measures and strictly adhering to the standard operating procedure laid down by the respective stakeholders and partners they work with.

Some of the industry standards and best practices that need to be followed are: GDPR, CCPA, HIPAA, SOX, PCI DSS, ISO 27001.

The title industry needs to protect itself by including measures as a part of their digital security plan. Implementing basic security features such as Two factor authentication, IP protection, Encryption and use of strong passwords.

With a strict information security management structure, Title Insurance & escrow companies can ensure that the sensitive information they work with on a daily basis stays secure and safe.

 

  • real estate cyber security,

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