The cybersecurity race is ongoing, and the pace of change is rapidly increasing. A report suggests that around 61% of organizations witnessed a jump of over 25% in cyber threats or alerts since the inception of COVID-19.
In the mortgage industry, cybersecurity plays a critical role to protect sensitive borrower information from cyber threats. Mortgage companies collect and store vast amounts of personal and financial data, including social security numbers, credit reports, income statements, and bank account details, making them a prime target for cybercriminals. A cybersecurity breach can lead to financial losses and legal liabilities, damage a company’s reputation, and erode customer trust. Therefore, organizations are always on their toes to take extensive measures to strengthen network security.
Nonetheless, cyber threats are constantly evolving. Next-gen attack strategies and vulnerabilities are discovered all the time. By staying up-to-date with the latest cybersecurity trends, organizations and individuals can better understand the risks they face and take steps to mitigate them.
Mortgage Cybersecurity Trends That You Cannot Overlook!
1. The Rise of Artificial Intelligence
The mortgage industry is a complex and data-intensive field that involves numerous processes, multiple parties, and a vast amount of documentation. The integration of artificial intelligence (AI) has revolutionized this industry by automating manual processes, streamlining workflows, reducing costs, and enhancing the customer experience. Additionally, AI algorithms enable automating manual tasks such as data entry, document verification, and underwriting, which would otherwise require significant time and resources. This has been a great aid to mortgage lenders to process loan applications faster and with greater accuracy while freeing up staff to focus on higher-level tasks.
Threat: Although AI has brought significant benefits to the mortgage sector, there are also emerging concerns and potential risks associated with its use. If not trained or developed properly, AI algorithms can be biased. This can lead to discriminatory lending practices, which might result in legal and reputational consequences for mortgage lenders. Additionally, inappropriate use of AI in the mortgage industry can pose network security risks as algorithms can be vulnerable to hacking and cyberattacks in the absence of a robust cybersecurity infrastructure.
Solution: Proper training and development of AI is a cybersecurity trend that is transforming the way how AI is used in the mortgage industry. The responsible use of AI in the mortgage industry requires a holistic approach that balances the benefits of AI with its potential risks. By developing and training AI algorithms responsibly, ensuring data security, fostering transparency, maintaining human oversight, and staying up-to-date on regulations, mortgage lenders can mitigate the risks associated with AI and ensure that its use in the mortgage industry is ethical, transparent, and compliant with regulations.
2. Firewalls to Block Phishing Emails
Phishing is a type of social engineering attack in which attackers try to trick individuals into revealing sensitive information, such as login credentials or financial data, by posing as a trustworthy entity. Organizations do away with these malicious activities by strengthening network security and spreading awareness amongst their stakeholders.
Threat: The shift towards remote work has aggravated the risk of falling prey to phishing attempts. Phishing attacks can damage customer trust in a mortgage company, particularly if their personal and financial data is compromised. This can lead to customers taking their business elsewhere and negative publicity for the company.
Solution: To mitigate the risks of phishing attacks, mortgage lenders can implement security measures such as multi-factor authentication, regular employee training on phishing awareness, and the use of advanced email filters and firewalls to block phishing emails. Additionally, borrowers can be advised to be cautious of unsolicited emails and to verify the authenticity of emails and links before providing any sensitive information.
3. Tackling Ransomware as-a-service (RaaS)
It is important for mortgage companies to implement robust network security measures for crucial transactions. The networks are securely fortified to prohibit alien activities. However, with the advancements in technology, some loopholes induce the scope of Ransomware as-a-service (RaaS) entering the system. Implementing strategies to tackle RaaS is the next cybersecurity trend doing the rounds in the mortgage sector.
Threat: In the mortgage industry, Ransomware as-a-service (RaaS) is a growing concern as cybercriminals no longer need to have advanced technical skills to launch ransomware attacks on mortgage companies. This increased ease of access has led to a surge in extortion techniques, coupled with supply chains’ greater interconnectivity. Consequently, ransomware has become an incredibly lucrative arena for cybercriminals globally.
Solution: To combat this growing threat, there are several steps that organizations can take. These include keeping software up-to-date to mitigate known vulnerabilities that attackers can exploit, implementing multi-factor authentication to add an extra layer of security, regularly backing up data to ensure that it can be recovered in case of an attack, educating employees about the risks of ransomware and how to avoid it, monitoring network traffic and user activity for suspicious activity, and developing an incident response plan to contain and remediate an attack.
4. Mitigating frequent digital supply chain attacks
Mortgage companies rely on a diverse range of digital systems and services to operate efficiently and effectively. These systems range from loan processing software to customer relationship management platforms, which are essential for streamlining processes and providing excellent service to customers. The flexibility of digital systems has enabled mortgage companies to tailor their services to meet the unique needs of each customer.
A key aspect of this reliance on digital systems is the role played by third-party vendors. These vendors provide critical components, such as cloud hosting services or software libraries, which are necessary for the smooth functioning of mortgage systems. By leveraging the expertise and technology of third-party vendors, mortgage companies can access cutting-edge solutions and stay at the forefront of industry and cybersecurity trends.
Threat: A digital supply chain attack occurs when a cybercriminal targets one of these vendors, either by exploiting a vulnerability in their systems or by compromising their supply chain. Once the vendor is compromised, the attacker can use that access to infiltrate the systems of multiple companies that rely on that vendor, including mortgage companies.
Solution: The key to combatting frequent digital supply chain attacks is to establish a comprehensive and proactive approach to cybersecurity. By identifying risks, establishing strong vendor management practices, implementing robust security measures, educating employees and stakeholders, and having a plan in place to monitor and respond to threats, mortgage companies can better protect themselves and their customers from such attacks.
5. Implementing backup authentication methods
Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is a security measure that requires users to provide two or more forms of authentication before accessing a system or application. This additional layer of security can be a boon to the mortgage industry in several ways. Protecting sensitive information from unauthorized access, reducing the risk associated with weak passwords, and safeguarding consumers’ personal and financial information while ensuring compliance.
Clearly, by implementing MFA, mortgage companies can better protect their customers and their business from potential security breaches.
Threat: A failure in multi-factor authentication may lead to non-compliance with regulatory requirements. Regulatory bodies require mortgage companies to implement robust security measures to protect client information. Failure to comply with these regulations may result in fines, legal actions, and other penalties.
Solution: By implementing backup authentication methods, conducting regular security awareness training, monitoring MFA logs, continuously updating and improving MFA systems, and implementing a zero-trust security model, mortgage companies can mitigate the risks of MFA failure and better protect their systems and data from potential security breaches.
As the mortgage industry continues to adopt digital processes, it is essential to prioritize cybersecurity measures and stay up-to-date with the latest updates and threats. The key cybersecurity trends in the mortgage industry include adopting a risk-based approach, increasing employee awareness, leveraging automation and artificial intelligence, implementing multi-factor authentication, and conducting regular network security assessments. By taking these measures, organizations can better protect themselves and their customers from cyber threats and ensure a secure and trustworthy mortgage lending process.
Looking for more insights? Connect with our Mortgage tech gurus to learn more about such cybersecurity trends.