With millions of sensitive pieces of information literally at their fingertips, mortgage bankers must make extra efforts to secure their data.
A recent security lapse based in Texas reinforced that idea, as millions of records were exposed online without protection.
The cache of more than 24 million financial and banking documents included sensitive borrower information such as Social Security numbers, tax data, and mortgage documents. The borrowers had taken out loans over the past decade, and tens of thousands of loans were exposed.
The leak was traced back to a Texas-based company that provides data analysis and portfolio valuations. The incident occurred because the company’s server was not protected with a password, according to National Mortgage News and research by TechCrunch.
It’s unclear to what extent the data was compromised and if any of the information was intercepted by cybercriminals.
Two lessons are clear as a result of this incident, however:
- • Stronger passwords, authenticators, facial recognition, or other reliable forms of security must be used.
- • Businesses of all sizes within the mortgage industry specifically must do more to secure their systems and improve their overall infrastructure.
Password Protection Tips
- • Passwords should be at least 12 characters long and consist of letters, numbers, and symbols.
- • You shouldn’t use the same passwords for multiple resources.
- • Instead of a simple password, use a passphrase that consists of several words and symbols, such as, “Th1s1sMyPa$$Phra$e.” Better yet, use a meaningless jumble of letters and symbols; just make sure you remember the sequence.
- • If they’re available on your device, take advantage of facial recognition or touch ID.
- • Use authenticator apps, which require two or more forms of identification. For example, the user would have to know the password and also have access to the phone associated with the account.
- • Don’t share your passwords with anyone.
Secure Your Mortgage Technology Systems
Having strong passwords will help prevent cybersecurity disasters, but it’s only the first step. Especially clever hackers can break through the barriers anyway. That’s why you need up-to-date, powerful security within your mortgage technology infrastructure. Skilled technology consultants can not only secure your systems with active threat detection, but also help modernize and optimize your loan origination systems, customize plugins, provide training, and more.