The importance of data security in modern lending

Lending in the modern, digital world presents both opportunities and risks for financial institutions. Consumer demand for faster, more efficient home loan processes mean organizations must either evolve to meet these demands, or risk losing out to more innovative competitors. However, in meeting these changing consumer needs, organizations must also consider the security threats that come with digitization.

Lenders have legal and ethical obligations to keep their customers’ data secure, whether being stored digitally or in physical form, and various laws and regulations exist to help ensure these requirements are adhered to. However, while one recent survey revealed that 99 percent of mortgage industry executives are familiar with the federal and state laws regarding the handling of non-public consumer personal and financial data, statistics around cybersecurity within the industry more generally would suggest that putting this knowledge into action is easier said than done.

According to the 2017 Data Breach Investigations Report by Verizon, financial services remains one of the worst affected industries when it comes to cybersecurity failings, with a quarter (24 percent) of all breaches in 2017 affecting financial organizations. While no industry is immune to cyber attacks, the fact that financial services has placed so highly in previous editions of Verizon’s annual report is no coincidence.

The critical role of secure technologies in lending

It’s easy to point to technology as the problem here, but in reality, it’s the people responsible for sourcing and managing these technologies who should be placed under closest scrutiny. Lenders rely heavily on technology to function, but if that technology is noncompliant or lacking essential security features, problems will inevitably persist. The onus is therefore on CIOs and IT leaders to adopt technologies that provide both operational benefits and military-grade security features.

When it comes to cloud-based electronic document management (EDM) platforms, for example, lenders should seek a platform that is dedicated to providing state-of-the-art information security features throughout every stage of the loan origination process, from application through to closing. And crucially, these security standards should exist at every physical and virtual touchpoint; including application security, system security, operational security, transaction security, and data center security.

With so many EDM platforms available on the market, choosing a partner that can fulfil multiple operation requirements – improved workflows and mobility, loan origination system (LOS) integration capabilities, round-the-clock support, scalability, and cost-effectiveness – along with uncompromised security features, can be difficult. That’s where accreditations, such as the Service Organization Controls Type II, or ‘SOC 2’ can serve as a useful differentiator.

In a nutshell, a SOC 2 certification shows that a company has proven its system is designed to keep its customers’ data secure. More specifically, it requires that companies establish and adhere to strict information security policies and procedures, encompassing the security, availability, processing, integrity, and confidentiality of customer data. For lenders that value security, opting for a SOC 2 certified platform is highly beneficial.

To find out more about XDOC’s commitments to security, visit https://www.axacore.com/docs/xdoc-security.pdf