New Reverse Mortgage Event Spotlights Cybersecurity, Financial Planning

A series of policy updates this year have dramatically changed the game on originating, underwriting and servicing reverse mortgages. While these changes have created a slew of challenges for lenders and other industry participants, they also present significant opportunities for growth in today’s new reverse mortgage environment.

To help reverse mortgage professionals kick off 2016, ReverseVision is hosting its first ever User Conference in San Diego, a new event specifically designed to increase revenue and efficiencies for RV Exchange users.

Taking place January 20-22 at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina, UserCon 2016 will feature a combination of general sessions and career tracks for reverse mortgage executives, loan officers, account executives, administrators and more. Visit the event website to check-out the conference schedule, as well as other sessions at UserCon 2016.

Attendees will have the opportunity to engage in a variety of presentations that highlight key areas of growth for reverse mortgage professionals, including a keynote presentation on “How Lenders Can Forge Relationships with Financial Planners” from Jamie Hopkins, Esq., JD, CLU®, RICP®, who serves as an Associate Professor of Taxation at The American College, and also the Associate Director of the New York Life Center for Retirement Income.

On Friday, January 22, the “Executive Hot Topic” session will highlight the importance of risk management and how reverse mortgage lenders can implement a strategy that can give them a competitive edge while staying compliant with industry regulations and procedures.

Managing risk and staying compliant is especially important in the broader mortgage and financial services industry, which is already charged with getting up to speed on the latest regulations that took effect October 3, namely the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure, or “TRID.”

But while reverse mortgage lenders are largely exempt from these rules, they are just as susceptible as any company, big or small, to one of the most silently lethal risks lurking on the Internet: cyberattacks.

In recent years, the threat of suffering a data breach has been all too real for massive corporations like Target, Sony Pictures and Home Depot. But that’s not to say smaller firms are exempt from having their sensitive data stolen or compromised, says Rick McElroy, Chief Information Security Officer at Siege Secure, a California-based managed security provider.

“Most people base decisions on purely financial motives and do not factor risk into the equation. In a lot of cases, that risk can be super high,” says McElroy, a 16-year veteran in the information security sector who is leading the Executive Hot Topic: Risk Management session at User Con 2016. “Cybersecurity isn’t only an IT problem. It’s a business risk management problem, and as a business owner, you need to do something.”

The risk management session will discuss the prevalence of cyber threats and data breaches, both globally and how they specifically impact the mortgage space, while other topics of discussion will include the shifting compliance landscape, including new bank legislation for mortgage servicing (i.e. TRID) and things to be aware of as a business owner.

“From a business leader perspective, they need to understand that risk management is a C-Level problem and should be a part of how they make their decisions,” McElroy says. “My talk will give attendees considerations and takeaways to create that culture within their organization, because it has become a market differentiator as a result.”

Customers are starting to buy into companies that offer data security more today than ever before, McElroy says, especially in light of recent headline data breaches that have hit huge corporations like Target, Home Depot and Sony Pictures.

“Frankly, consumers are over it,” he says. “They are tired of people not handling their data correctly, and the problem is going to land squarely on C-Level executives. For small- and medium-sized companies, the effects of a data breach could be crippling.”

When it comes to security, one of the biggest risk management challenges McElroy sees facing all lenders is a sense of apathy—thinking “I’m too small so this problem is never going to hit me,” he says.

If nothing else, the purpose of McElroy’s session aims to get business leaders and key decision-makers motivated to take action for their own cybersecurity needs.

“I can guarantee this isn’t just another discussion about risk,” McElroy says. “We will get business leaders motivated to do something about information security and risk management—but they have to change their behavior in a positive way.”

Attend this year’s User Conference for a chance to learn more about how to optimize your business strategy for continued success while staying compliant with regulators and protecting against cybersecurity threats. To learn more about ReverseVision User Con 2016, visit the event website and register today.

“At the end of the day security is a feeling,” McElroy says. “Every organization has to decide what their right comfort level with risk is, but if they aren’t doing anything about it, they are going to get slammed.”

Written by Jason Oliva

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