Real Estate, Title & Loan Processing

SOC Vendor Due Diligence for Title Agencies

The American Land Title Association (ALTA) Best Practices Framework has been developed to assist lenders in satisfying their responsibility to manage third party vendors. ALTA members advocate a safe and efficient transfer of real estate and have high standards when searching land title records and preparing insurance documents. To provide the best possible chance of avoiding land title problems, risk should be eliminated prior to insuring. As such, effective safeguards should be in place.

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The State of Cybersecurity: How to Prepare For 2015

2014 was a cybersecurity eye opener for all individuals using technology.  The public and many corporations had to personally face the repercussions of the cybersecurity weaknesses throughout all technology.  The whole world was watching this year as cyber-attacks hit one after the other, arguably the worst cybersecurity incident happening in November to Sony Pictures Entertainment.  Not as popular but certainly as devastating, Heartbleed was part of the worst vulnerabilities made public and possibly the worst vulnerability ever released.

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Hacking The Holidays: Protect Your Credit Card Information

Unfortunately, the Grinch is not the only one out there wishing to steal Christmas.  While the holidays generally encompass a time of joy and giving, it can also bring with its share of troubles.  It is during these times that people will most often let their guard down.  In the search for the best deal, or perfect gift, people will often overlook or forget about Internet safety precautions.

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Does Your SOC Report Address Subservice Organizations Using the Carve Out or Inclusive Method?

By: Peter Clarke, Managing Consultant at A-LIGN A subservice organization is an entity that is used by the service organization to perform some of the services provided to customers (user entities).  An example of a common service provided by a subservice organization would be a company that offers their data center to a cloud provider (the service organization).  The service organization relies on processes and controls implemented at the subservice organization to meet the Control Objectives or Trust Services Principles of the SOC report. When a subservice organization is utilized by the service organization, there are two methods for reporting on the processes and controls at the subservice organization.  First, the processes and controls can be included as a part of the report.  This is the Inclusive method.  Second, the processes and controls can be excluded from the report.  This is the Carve Out method.  Each method requires that the service organization take steps to determine whether controls are in place and operating effectively to meet the needs of the end user (customer).

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How to Differentiate Your Title Agency for Success in a Dynamic Market

By: Blaise Wabo, Senior Consultant at A-LIGN In 2012 the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a bulletin related to service providers’ oversight, in which they expect supervised banks and nonbanks (lenders) to oversee their business relationships with service providers in a manner that ensures compliance with Federal consumer financial…

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3 Step Guide on How To Avoid Data Breaches Through Soft Targets

By: Chris Berberich, Senior Consultant and Penetration Tester at A-LIGN In the real world of budgets and limited personnel, prioritizing security resources is a must. For the majority of companies who depend on IT resources, prioritizing information security resources is based on the significance of an asset to their overall…

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CSA Integrates Cloud Controls Matrix with SOC 2 Reports for Cloud Providers

By: Peter Clarke, Senior Consultant at A-LIGN The AICPA recently released an Illustrative Type 2 SOC 2 Report to assist auditors in reporting on the suitability of design and operating effectiveness on cloud security providers. The Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) Cloud Control Matrix (CCM) builds upon the AICPA’s Trust Services…

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7 New COSO Updates that Impact Your SSAE 16 Report

By: Scott Price, Managing Partner of A-LIGN The Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO) released an updated version of its “Internal Control – Integrated Framework” in May, 2013. The changes are a progressive move to align its framework with today’s business operating environment, much like the change from SAS 70 to SOC 1/SSAE 16. As technology and business practices evolve, organizations need updated guidance on how and what to address in their internal controls.

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