We often get reminders to update software, programs, operating systems, and of course, our cellphones. Sometimes we are in too much of a hurry to stop and do the update or we are concerned that an update will change something in our system we don’t want fixed.
For title agents, updating systems is an imperative for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is the American Land Title Association’s (ALTA) recent updates to its Best Practices Framework.
Let’s take a look at a few key reasons for staying on top of updates and then delve into a few elements of ALTA’s updated framework related to security.
Why You Should Prioritize Updates
There are several reasons to make sure you are updating your systems and software regularly at the recommendation of the provider, including improved security, smoother performance, and – the one reason least often considered – compatibility.
Improved Security and Data Protection
For title agents, this is probably the most important reason. Software providers are constantly working on the backend to close any gaps that could be targeted by cyber criminals and the simple act of updating your software can ensure the safety of your systems. More importantly, upgrades to your software provide greater barriers to bad actors getting access to your customer’s data.
Stuff just works better when it’s fixed, and systems and software providers are constantly responding to feedback from clients to make their products more seamless and efficient. Often, the updates provide incremental improvements that can make your work easier.
We’ve heard this one before: “We are no longer supporting software created before XXXX.” Let’s face it, when the underlying system upon which everything depends has a major update, the software providers have to update as well to accommodate the new changes. It’s probably the aspect we are least aware of but can be critical to functionality and performance.
ALTA’s Best Practices Pillar 3 Updates
Pillar 3 of the Best Practices focuses on security, especially for the purposes of protecting a customer non-public personal information (NPI).
Version 4.0 updates focus on creating and implementing a written information security plan (WISP) which includes such things as using multi-factor authentication to access systems containing NPI, establishing strong protocols for passwords, and requiring “timely software updates that require routine updates to systems, software and code that, when left outdated, can result in data breaches, cyberattacks, exploits, ransomware attacks and other exposure of NPI.”
Recognizing the increased complexity of hosted applications and storage, Version 4.0 adds a requirement to “maintain and secure access to company information technology software applications and data stored on physical or virtual equipment at company locations, in a data center, in the cloud, or hosted by third-party vendors.”
This puts increased pressure on title agents to become more educated about the systems and platforms they are using and more vigilant in ensuring those providers are following the same stringent rules.
At Premier One our mission is to provide exceptional and trustworthy technology services and consulting to all of our clients. We use the latest technologies to help you do the things you do best without worrying about your IT problems or network issues. Call us today to learn how we can help you ensure you are meeting and exceeding the ALTA Best Practices Framework when it comes to secure IT services.