In today's digital world, it is more important than ever to ensure title companies are aware of potential cyber threats and are prepared to prevent them. The Ponemon Institute – a prominent research center dedicated to privacy, data protection and information security policy – has analyzed data breach incidents within U.S.-based companies (2011 Cost of Data Breach Study: United States).
Significant findings from the report include:
- An astounding 39% of all data breaches are caused by employee or contractor negligence.
- An additional 37% of all breaches are caused by malicious or criminal attack, often by rogue employees or contractors.
Employers are partly to blame. Many organizations have failed to educate employees on the necessary measures to reduce data security and privacy threats. Another Ponemon study found that employees “do not believe their organizations provide ample training or adequate policies to inform them about data protection and security practices in their workplace.” (2009 Annual Study: Cost of a Data Breach)
How to avoid and prevent cyber threats?
The answer is simple and clear - train your employees!
Data privacy and security experts and regulators repeatedly recommend employee training as one of the most crucial and effective strategies in avoiding data breach.
For example, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has stated that “the most effective data security plans deal with four key elements: physical security, electronic security, employee training, and the security practices of contractors and service providers.” (Federal Trade Commission, Protecting Personal Information: A Guide for Business)
Symantec, the largest developer of security software, has stated that employee education and training is one of the “best practices to thwart a cyber attack.” (2012 Endpoint Security Best Practices Survey)
The Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), a division of the U.S. Department of Education, has stated that security training for all data users is the “best strategy for ensuring that a major threat to data security … is proactively addressed before more breaches occur.” (Data Security and Management Training: Best Practice Considerations)
The American Land Title Association (ALTA) has issued benchmark “Best Practices” for Title & Settlement Companies. These include the requirement of “appropriate management and training of employees to ensure compliance with a company’s information security program.” (ALTA, Title Insurance and Settlement Company Best Practices)
SoftPro is proud to partner with Real Estate Data Shield that has developed an employee-training program in privacy and security, designed specifically for the Title and Settlement industry. In less than thirty minutes, this interactive e-courseware can teach your employees how to comply with federal laws, rules, and regulations. This cost effective training significantly reduces your company’s liability risks by allowing you to demonstrate legal and regulatory compliance. Omni Intermedia has awarded its 2012 Bronze Award to Real Estate Data Shield for its compliance and data security e-courseware and honored it for quality and content that achieved the highest standards of excellence in educational training.
After completing this course, your employees will have a better understanding of how to demonstrate reasonable care in handling personal data and will be better prepared to handle data breaches if they occur.
To learn more about the program and register, click the link below.