Top 5 Takeaways from ALTA ONE 2022

Top 5 Takeaways from ALTA ONE 2022

Written by:

Claudia Lee

Read time:

3 min

Category:

Cybersecurity

Date:

Oct 21, 2022

CertifID was excited to be part of the biggest ALTA ONE conference ever, joining 1200+ colleagues in a beautiful spot on Coronado Island near San Diego.

The theme of the conference was “New Horizons”, and that summed up many of our conversations with customers and partners there. As Housing Wire described, our industry has been around for over a century - but the future brings many new opportunities and challenges, with the threat of cybercrime at the top of the list.

For those who couldn’t be there in person, we wanted to share some of our top takeaways.

1. Cybercrime rings currently see our industry as good for business.

Tom Cronkright from CertifID and Stephen Dougherty from the US Secret Service led an eye-opening session on how cybercriminals are continuing to innovate. They continue to change their tactics to capture more earning opportunities, and try to stay ahead of the law. 

  • Large syndicates now operate across every continent, led by crime bosses that run these organizations as a business enterprise.
  • They’re selling their data and know-how to the highest bidder. BEC (Business Email Compromise) has become such a successful play that anyone can buy it “as a service” on the dark web.
  • The ROI (Return on Investment) of their operations is incredible. An average wire transfer theft of $200K requires less than $4K of investment. 
  • Sadly, their scamming expertise has expanded into their human resources “recruiting” tactics - supplying even greater multiplying scale to their operations. 

What does all that mean? Cybercrime rings continue to expand their footprint and volume, which means more attacks coming our way. The chances of an organization to be hit continues to increase. It truly is a matter of “when” not “if”.

2. The downturn makes operational excellence even more critical.

Fred Eppinger, CEO of Stewart, provided valuable perspective on the direction of the industry and his own organization in his session for Stewart Trusted ProviderTM agents. He encouraged the agency partners in attendance to make the right investments and look for value added services to successfully weather this upcoming cycle. The leaner times are when strong businesses invest for the future.

Stewart is continuing to partner and develop the right solutions for title agencies, most importantly in the area of security. Fred called out wire fraud as the biggest risk to the industry, and that technologies from Stewart preferred partner CertifID led by CEO Tyler Adams are available to get more secure. 

3. Mortgage payoffs are one of the biggest risks on your mind.

Tyler DeKryger, Sam Sterner, and Austin Zahrt from CertifID Customer Success and Sales, and our entire team, talked to hundreds of visitors at the booth. 

We heard what a source of worry and headaches that payoff verifications are for your teams. Many title agencies have developed best practices, spreadsheets, and training to ensure payoff instructions are verified. But these processes are still prone to human error. 

The PayoffProtect solution became a popular conversation topic once we described how CertifID delivers +95% verification success rate. We look forward to introducing PayoffProtect to more of our customers. 

4. Education is never done. 

While the focus on addressing wire fraud was clearly at an all time high at ALTA ONE this year, we know that more education is still required. At CertifID we always want to be part of the solution. We hold a monthly “To Catch a Fraudster” webinar series and share other content to increase awareness on how to protect yourself. 

We also renovated our certifid.com website last year to be a useful resource to title companies, realtors, and home buyers and sellers – who all are at personal or business risk from wire fraud. Matt Kilmartin, our VP of Sales, and Katie Stewart, our Director of Customer Success, were honored to receive the 2022 ALTA Title Webbie Award onstage!

5. It all comes down to people.

Tom Cronkright shared a video during his notable session with Lilah Jones, who experienced wire fraud during a recent home purchase in Chicago. Luckily, she reached out to the CertifID fraud recovery team and was able to recover her funds - albeit after a harrowing experience along the way. 

As Tom said so well on behalf of the industry, “we all work for Lilah.” Here’s a snippet where she shares her advice as a home buyer to all of us.

Hats off to all of the title professionals and leaders who came to the conference to get the latest on how you can continue to protect your clients. The mentality of ownership of a problem that you didn’t create - is truly unique. We appreciate and applaud you! 

Because we want to help others like Lilah, our fraud recovery services are available to anyone, whether you’re currently a CertifID customer or not.  If you or someone you know has been hit by fraud, don’t hesitate to reach out at www.reportafraud.org.  

Our CertifID team was thrilled to meet our customers and partners in person in San Diego. We left with many new relationships and plans to go implement together. Let’s continue the conversation! We’re always here to help. 

Claudia Lee

VP of Marketing

Claudia is a marketing leader who has led several global functions in enterprise IT. She has a strong track record of scaling growth through partnerships and solutions across a variety of industries.

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