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Visit Cloudstar at the Indiana Land Title Convention

Stop by and see us at the ILTA National Convention September 20-23, 2017 at the French Lick Resort, French Lick, Indiana.

Andrea, Tom and the Convention Committee Members have planned an outstanding experience for the Convention Attendees of the 2017 ILTA Convention.  There will be a great emphasis on Leadership, Planning for the Future and, of course, FUN AND GAMES!  You will want to create a short-cut on your phone or pad for the ILTA website.  (You can always ask one of your “younger” employees to help you with this.)   This year we are going paperless.  You will be able to review the daily itinerary, make your plans for the dinners and events and follow along with our presenters’ outlines and hand-outs during the meetings.  You will also have the capability of printing this information before the convention if you wish. Mark your calendars to attend and stay tuned for additional information regarding the event.  We hope to see you all there!!

Click HERE for more information.

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The Title Agents’ Cyber Security Reality Check

Coming to terms with our new reality.

As the owner of multiple companies that store, process, and host critical data for regulated industries, there isn’t a day that goes by that I’m not asked about cyber security. I’m asked “What are you doing to address today’s emerging threats?” “How are protecting your customer’s data?”, is another frequent question. There is no doubt cyber security is a concern that must be taken seriously.

The most recent cyber security headline is the data breach over at Equifax, one of the nation’s “Big Three” credit reporting agencies. The breach is so severe, it has impacted nearly a third of all American’s by exposing their credit card data, social security numbers, addresses, and other information that places almost anyone using a credit card at direct risk of identity theft. The Federal Trade Commission writes more here.

Equifax is in good company because they are not the only ones to have consumer data stolen from them. In July 2014, JP Morgan Chase, the largest bank in the United States was the victim of a hack that compromised the data of more than half of U.S households. The data included names, addresses, contact information and user ID’s and passwords according to information filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Anthem Health, the nation’s second largest health insurer suffered a data breach in February 2015 wherein the hack exposed the names, addresses, Social Security numbers, dates of birth and employment histories of over 78.8 million current and former customers.

Of course, the list goes on and on. Target, Home Depot, the U.S Office of Personnel Management, Yahoo, and eBay to name a few more.

REALITY CHECK

Now let’s be honest with ourselves, these are BIG brands with BIG budgets and TOP talent. Can you spend your way to safety and security? No. Can you ever be 100% secure? No. So what can you do? You can set your expectations in alignment with reality.

ASKING FOR THE BLUEPRINTS WHEN CONDUCTING DUE DILLIGENCE

Let’s take a step back to the beginning of this article. I am the owner of multiple technology companies that store, process, and host valuable data for regulated industries. At times I’m requested to provide some very interesting things. “I need a copy of your firewall rules, your network diagrams, your internal infrastructure layout, and your internal procedures.” I’m being requested, in short, to provide a written manual that could be used to usurp my security. My answer to this is a resounding NO.

Let’s put it another way. What would happen if you walked into your bank and demanded from the branch manager, “I need to see the diagrams of your bank vault. I need to know what it’s made of. I want to see the plans to your air conditioning ducts, and I need to know the name of your alarm company.” They would probably think that you’re planning to rob the bank. Oh, and a bank would NEVER provide you with any of that information; ever.

To summarize, as someone who is in the business of security networks, don’t ask me for diagrams of my network, and paperwork as to it’s inner workings…it won’t happen.

MANAGING PAPER VS MANAGING RISK

Another place good decision making can go off the rails is an over obsession with paperwork. Paperwork does not keep you secure. All it does is create jobs for the paperwork people, and then makes another set of paperwork people go away when you “show them the paperwork”.

You best believe that companies such as JP Morgan Chase, Equifax and all of the other high profile companies had every SOC1, SOC2, SSAE, ISO27001 and PCI-DSS audit and attestation paper.

Ask yourself, what good did it do them? Exactly.

MANAGING RISK WHEN CHOOSING VENDORS

When was the last time you opened a credit card and demanded that the credit card company complete a “vendor survey” before opening the account? Did you check that the credit card company reports only to credit bureaus that cannot be hacked? Of course not, because there was no way to know. Your decision was made based on the knowledge that you were dealing with a known, reputable company and that is how you should continue to make decisions.

KNOWLEDGE IS POWER

Data breaches are only the tip of the iceberg. There’s wire fraud, malware, viruses, phishing, and more. Yet, it seems that the large majority of title agents really don’t know what they don’t know. Why?

Benjamin Franklin said “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”

Just how much involvement is there in educating the land title community? Underwriters take an agency representative whose job is supposed to be understanding title insurance, declares them a cyber security expert, then sends them out into the field to teach with some hot tips. Land title associations hold the same boring seminars droning on about wire fraud horror stories and then pepper in some lectures about clean desk policy. Zzzzzzzzz.

Where’s the teach and involve? If I show you how to use Russian software to write a phishing email, maybe you’ll learn something.

COMING TO TERMS

Our reality is here to stay. Understanding how to work within our reality is what makes us successful. Wishing our reality was not so, is ignorance. The golden takeaway is that there is no true security, only varying degrees of risk. Education and conversation is the best way to truly understand the risk landscape we face while preparing ourselves to be ever vigilant.

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Would you like to add to the conversation? Click the image below to like our article on Linked-In or join the discussion.

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Join Us At The First American Underwriting Seminar

Join Cloudstar in Denver, Colorado on 9/12/17 – 9/13/17 at the 6th annual First American National Underwriting Seminar.

First American is hosting an exciting two day seminar with their executive leadership and industry experts as they discuss important topics impacting today’s title industry, including Regulatory Compliance, Bankruptcy and Receivership, and the ever popular Hot Topics.

Cloudstar will onsite exhibiting and to answer your questions about Title Technology, Cloud Hosting, Information Security, and more. Learn more about the event HERE

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Hurricane Irma Preparations

For the past week, our local Operations Team has been monitoring the storm that is currently in the Caribbean and may make its way up the Florida coast next week.  We have performed all of our hurricane preparation procedures and are ready for the rain, high winds, and potential disruption of utility power.  Fuel has been topped off in the generators with fuel vendors on stand-by, if need be.  Emergency staff has been prepped and will be available should the weather reach the Jacksonville area.

Our redundant Operations Center located in New Jersey is also on stand by ready to move server work loads as necessary. All redundant Internet circuits have been tested and satellite based telephone links have been verified between both the northern and southern facilities.

Event updates will be posted on our Critical Updates Blog HERE where customers can stay informed for real time news and alerts.

UPDATE: We are happy to report that no customers experienced any downtime throughout the duration of the hurricane.  All redundant systems operated as expected as did onsite generators.

 

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Affected By Harvey? We’re Here to Help.

Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by Hurricane Harvey and we’re working with customers in impacted areas.  If you need help, please call us at 800-340-5780. Cloudstar has waived data import fees and on boarding charges for companies looking for emergency relieve by restoring operations in the Cloud. Our task force is available for those that need quick restoration of services such as SoftPro, RamQuest, ResWare, TitleExpress, Streamline and more in addition to Telephone and Email services.

Please call or write us HERE for assistance.

 

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Cloudstar Sponsoring New England Mortgage Expo

Save the Date: The New England Mortgage Expo is on January 12, 2018!

The New England Mortgage Expo is back again, and it’s all coming together for another spectacular day at Mohegan Sun. Last year, we had over 2,000 attendees, a compelling exhibitor lineup, a roster of top industry speakers, and multiple event partners – and you can expect an even better Expo in 2018!

Attendees will discover a thoughtful layout, high-quality networking opportunities, and an exciting show floor featuring live podcasting, raffle prizes, complimentary food and much more.

To learn more about the nation’s largest regional mortgage conference click HERE.

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Cloudstar to Exhibit at Colorado Land Title Association

Cloudstar is excited to be exhibiting at this year’s Colorado Land Title Association’s Annual Convention to be held September 6th – 8th, 2017 at Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort and Spa, Beaver Creek, Colorado.  Additional information about the convention can be found HERE.

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ResWare Consulting Services Now Available

Cloudstar has officially launched the delivery of ResWare consulting services, including:

  • Implementation
  • End User Training
  • Workflow Optimization
  • Operational Consulting
  • ResWare Administration
  • And Much, Much, More

 

Click HERE for details about our ResWare consulting program and the many ways you will benefit from our industry strength.

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Stephanie Kane, Industry Veteran, Joins Cloudstar

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

JACKSONVILLE FLORIDA- 7/24/17  Cloudstar is pleased to announce its recent hire of Stephanie Kane, who has joined our team as a Senior ResWare Administrator. Within this role, Stephanie will be performing ResWare administration, workflow automation, and operational expansion consulting for new and existing Cloudstar customers.

Stephanie has over 20 years of experience working in the title and escrow industry and is highly experienced as a ResWare administrator. Stephanie is a proven expert in creating and modifying ResWare workflows, maximizing productivity, and delivering customer service across operations in addition to other areas, including the administrative setup of the platform.

“As a technology company specializing in the land title industry, and as a cloud hosting provider of ResWare, we are very excited to have someone with Stephanie’s extensive knowledge working for us” said Gregory McDonald CEO & Founder of Cloudstar

In Stephanie’s spare time she enjoys the Colorado mountain activities, traveling, and spending time with her young adult children in Georgia.

 

 

To learn more about Cloudstar’s ResWare consulting program, click HERE

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Citrix Session Recording Now Available

Supervisors, Managers, Owners and Stakeholders often times wants to know what a particular employee is doing on their computer all day. Traditionally, that hasn’t been to hard to ascertain because the technology for recording desktop users sessions has been around for quite some time now. In the hosted desktop environment, that’s another story.

Companies who host their desktops in the cloud, or perhaps just some applications still need insight and intelligence as to how their employees use those resources.  Sometimes, to put it bluntly, the need to simply monitor what a potential bad egg is doing in the hosted environment.  Cloudstar has just enabled Citrix session recording to solve this problem.  At management’s request, Cloudstar can record a particular employee’s entire day, week, or month of work activity and store these video movie files in a convenient location accessible to only approved management personnel. This data is useful in quality assurance training, workflow training, and also for HR departments.

Ask your sales rep how to enable Citrix session recording should your operation have a need for this functionality.

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