March 2019

  • Cyber Liability Insurance 101: A Primer for Title Agents
  • Email Killing Your Productivity? Here Are 9 Ways to Fight Back
  • Top 5 Cybersecurity Threats Facing Title Industry (Part 5)
  • Application Deadline for Professional Certification: March 25
  • In Memoriam: Georgia Duke 1938-2019
  • Mark C. Miller Joins Thomas Title and Escrow
  • A Warm Welcome to Our Newest TLTA Members

Cyber Liability Insurance 101: A Primer for Title Agents

Jerome Magana | March 18, 2019
Concern about the evolving dangers of cybercrime is a common topic among title insurance professionals. Cybercriminals are targeting title agencies and have become more sophisticated in recent years, using tactics such as social engineering (i.e., malicious activity used to manipulate title agency staff or their customers) to obtain confidential information or change wiring instructions. Most title agents are responding to these ongoing threats by implementing enhanced security measures.

Unfortunately, no security tool is 100 percent effective in preventing losses caused by cybercriminals. Despite the implementation of increased security measures, we continue to suffer from losses as a result of security breaches, causing some title agents to leave the business.

As cybercriminals evolve in response to new defenses implemented by the marketplace, insurance products have also evolved to meet the recent prevalent risks that exist in our industry. Having the right insurance will enable you to minimize risk and will protect the viability of your business in case of a breach. Understanding what insurance coverage is available is imperative to operational longevity and success. Here are four (4) things you need to know about purchasing insurance to protect your business:

1) Identify Your Vulnerabilities Before Seeking Out Insurance Coverage
This cannot be emphasized enough: most of the claims caused by social engineering-related theft are due to improperly executed verification procedures. Even if you’ve implemented enhanced security protocols and tools, consider the most common threats when reviewing the insurance products available to you.

2) Find an Insurance Agent Who Has Experience Working with Title Agents
Not all insurance policies are created equal. The title industry is unique and as a result it is necessary to obtain additional coverage beyond General Liability. This includes coverage for E&O, Fidelity Bonds, and Cyber Liability with Social Engineering endorsements. These are specific and unique insurance solutions, and finding an agent who specializes in the title insurance industry is key to making the most of the insurance products you purchase.

Read More »

Additional resources can be found on TLTA's Cyberfraud Resources page.

Email Killing Your Productivity? Here Are 9 Ways to Fight Back

Entrepreneur | March 15, 2019
One hundred twenty-six. That’s how many emails are expected to be sent and received per business worker, per day, in 2019. Even more startling? We spend 28 percent of our work week on emails. That comes out to more than 11 hours per week.

While intended to be a productivity tool, for most people, email is a serious distraction that prevents them from getting more important work done. Consider that whenever you stop working on a task to check your inbox, it’s going to take you 23 minutes to get back on track. If you’re the type of person who instinctively opens an email whenever you receive a notification, how can you possibly get anything accomplished?

The good news is that email doesn’t have to kill your productivity as long as you take the following steps.

Read More »

Top 5 Cybersecurity Threats Facing Title Industry (Part 5)

Drew Bradford, Sigma InfoSec | March 15, 2019
In part 1, we examined business email compromise, which occurs when a hacker gains access to a corporate email account and assumes the identity of the corporate user in order to defraud the company, employees, customers, or partners. In part 2, we looked at some of the ways that hackers obtain and use stolen credentials in order to take over an account. In part 3, we explored the motives and methods of hackers. In part 4, we looked at today’s rapidly evolving malware and ways to prevent and detect infections.

In this post, we’ll be talking about having a plan in place for when people, technology, and processes fail.

Threat #5 – Being Caught Unprepared

As we have seen from our previous posts in this series, cyberattacks are consistently rising across all companies, but the real estate sector is particularly targeted. Every day, attackers seek to defraud title companies through business email compromise, wire fraud, phishing, account takeover, hacking, and malware. The hacking tools freely available today allow even unsophisticated actors to perpetrate highly sophisticated and targeted hacking campaigns previously only available to nation states.

I tell all of my customers this – there is no silver bullet, or definitive way to prevent an attacker from getting into your network and getting out with your data. Effective cybersecurity requires a layered approach and must combine both prevention and detection capabilities.

In 2018, the average cost of a data breach in the US was $7.91 million, with the average cost per stolen record at $233. Once breached, the likelihood of being breached again over the next two years is 28%.

What happens when the people, processes, and technologies that are supposed to protect you from cyber-attacks fail? Do you have a plan in place for when the worst happens?

Let’s take a look at some ways that you can prepare for the worst, and decrease the cost and complexity of what happens after the breach.

Read More »

The other articles in this series and addtional resources can be found on TLTA's Cyberfraud Resources page.

ICYMI: A nonprofit organization backed by the New York district attorney’s office and the City of London Police has a plan to dramatically strengthen one of the weakest links in the global cybersecurity ecosystem — small businesses. Learn More »

Application Deadline for Professional Certification: March 25

Building your professional reputation takes a lifetime, but some accomplishments—like earning professional certification from TLTA—can get you there faster. Are you ready to apply?

Monday March 25 is the application deadline for the upcoming certification exams April 11 in Dallas and Houston and April 12 in Austin. If you have what it takes to distinguish yourself from the crowded field of title pros vying to stand out for customers and employers, what are you waiting for?

Learn more »
Apply to take a TLTA certification exam today »

In Memoriam: Georgia Duke 1938-2019

Georgia Duke, long-time TLTA member and Texas title industry pioneer, died March 16, 2019. Georgia worked in the business over 60 years and was a self-made success story.

“She had a one-of-a-kind personality with equal parts heart and grit,” said Leslie Midgley, TLTA Executive Vice President. “Georgia’s legacy will live on in the example she set of hard work, determination and love for the title business. She will be greatly missed by all her many title industry friends and colleagues.”

Read Georgia Duke's Obituary »

Mark C. Miller Joins Thomas Title and Escrow

Thomas Title & Escrow names Marc C. Miller Dallas Division President.

Miller’s career has spanned over 40 years touching on virtually every aspect of the title insurance industry. During that period, he has been involved in the start-up of two title companies, Texas Title and Capital Title of Texas, as the President and CEO.

More than half of Marc's career was in the early formation of national commercial services with Ticor Title Insurance of California. In his role, he managed 15 National Title Service Offices. His success eventually lead him to Southwest Region Manager, overseeing 10 states that included direct operations, agency services, national title services, claims and underwriting.

Read the Press Release »

A Warm Welcome to Our Newest TLTA Members

Agent Members

Title Forward
Contact: Chris Capezzera
5830 Granite Parkway #100-351
Plano, TX 75024

Prosperus Title & Escrow
Contact: Alexandra Jade Hedrick
6601 Montana, Suite A
El Paso, TX 79925

Title Partners, LLC
Contact: Bill Woodall
5501 LBJ Frwy, Suite 200
Dallas, TX 75240

Cornerstone Abstract and Title, LLC
Contact: Tammie Cairy
114 West Hiram St
Atlanta, TX 75551

Integrity Land Title LLC
Contact: Stephanie Mooney
361 W Byron Nelson Blvd, Suite 104
Roanoke, TX 76262

Associate Members

Sylvia Borunda Firth, PLLC
Contact: Sylvia Borunda Firth
6460 Calle Del Sol
El Paso, TX 79912

Canaan Title Solutions LLC
Contact: Mitchell Sparks
P.O. Box 569
Hardy, AR 72542

Independent Bank
Contact: Robert Horan
1600 Redbud Blvd
McKinney, TX 75069

Gregg & Valby, LLP
Contact: Claire Barber
1700 West Loop S, Suite 200
Houston, TX 77027

Goode Casseb Jones Riklin Choate & Watson, P.C.
Contact: Fred R. Jones
2122 N Main Ave
San Antonio, TX 78212

Stewart Insurance
Contact: John Bramblett
9555 W. Sam Houston Pkwy S, Suite 500
Houston, TX 77099

Oliver Law Office
Contact: Andrew Oliver
9951 Anderson Mill Rd, Suite 201
Austin, TX 78750

AgTexas, FCS
Contact: Ellen Collins
P.O. Box 53240
Lubbock, TX 79453

Deloitte & Touche LLP
Contact: Madhu Gopinath
1111 Bagby St #4500
Houston, TX 77002

W-Systems Corp.
Contact: Ron Canty
19 Spear Road, Suite 101
Ramsey, NJ 07446

TLTA has scheduled a variety of live webinars for 2019! Register now, or explore our library of more than 80 On-Demand webinars and videos covering the title industry topics you need!