What do you see as the purpose of the Technology Committee? Do you think the Technology Committee’s role has changed given this particular time in our history?
The purpose of the VLTA technology committee is to draw from experts in the technology industry to provide valuable information and resources as well as provide education to members of the VLTA concerning efficiencies gained through technology and mitigating the risks agents face every day. The role of the technology committee has taken on a new importance as the industry relies more and more on technology to not only get their jobs done, quickly communicate with their clients, but agents also have the responsibility of safeguarding their client’s private information.
What are the 2019 goals for the Technology Committee?
The goals of the VLTA technology committee in 2019 include listening to the challenges agents are facing when it comes to technology, provide solutions that help meet those challenges, provide resources for agents to call on with questions, and provide valuable education to all members.
What are you hearing from the membership?
The common theme we are hearing from agents is they are concerned about the high level of phishing attacks resulting in wire fraud. This continues to be of great concern. There are ways agents can protect themselves and their clients. The technology committee will be able to provide resources and education on this very important issue.
What is our biggest threat from increased technology in our business? Is it the criminal element? Or is there something else we need to worry about too?
The biggest threat from increased technology involves the criminal aspect but also the lack of action being taken to fully understand the technology and identify risks a business has by using the technology. There are safeguards that can be put in place to help minimize the risks to businesses that are being overlooked.
As technology becomes a larger part of what we do in the title industry, what opportunities do you see for us?
As technology becomes a larger part of what is happening in the industry I see an opportunity for agents to work very efficiently, have the necessary checks and balances in place, and minimize the exposure of business and client data.
Melissa Ellis, VP/CFO
Melissa Ellis is a co-owner of Systems Management Enterprises, Inc. (SME). SME is a Virginia based Information Technology and Security Company providing data center services, managed security, compliance solutions, and technical support to businesses nationwide.
Melissa has worked with businesses in the financial, medical, and professional services industries in a support and training role. Over the last several years she has specifically worked within these industries on compliance initiatives and provided security awareness training. Melissa’s background includes studying Criminal Justice at Radford University and obtaining a better understanding of compliance by becoming a CHP. Melissa is passionate about educating businesses on how they can put the necessary layers of protection in place to safeguard their data.