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Can the Cloud Cure Your Debt Collection Data Security Headache?

These days, it seems you need a couple of aspirin to open up the newspaper, or navigate to your default news site on the Web. And pop a couple of more when you read that, just as we all did recently, when 1.2 billion user names and passwords were hacked – from more than 420,000 distinct websites.

In the world of debt collection, data security adds a new headache on top of several that already dog the industry – customer complaint proliferation, lawsuits, penalties and right-party contact challenges due to the proliferation of mobile devices, just to name a few.

Data is the lifeblood of the collection industry, and its proliferation in the world of Big Data – as well as its protection – is vital to the continued survival of any collection-driven function. Organizations that “own” customer data (such as lenders, telcos, hospitals, or governments) – as well as those that obtain explicit permission to use the data (e.g., attorneys, agencies) – need to be able to demonstrate they have systems in place to protect it.

This can be tricky for smaller operations or those with more complex data protection needs. Lacking the ability and resources to invest in mature data management and security systems, they may be putting consumer data and their businesses at risk.

That’s why many firms that collect or recover debt have turned to the cloud to not only replace costly-to-support on-premises technologies, but also to enhance consumer, financial, and other sensitive data security. While the thought of surrendering control to an entity that administers and hosts the application may create concern that data is less secure, organizations that deploy cloud software are learning that the opposite is true. Software vendors that follow industry-standard data security protocols can help organizations greatly reduce the costly burden of physical, network, and database security measures, not to mention software updates, of on-premises solutions.

Today, credit grantors and other first parties can use the FICO® Analytic Cloud as the single, secure repository for their collections portfolio. Upgrades happen automatically, and everyone in the chain stays in lock-step for both productivity and security. Agencies, attorneys and others that are permitted access can log in and work the debt from the cloud, with role-based security allowing them to only see data they need to do their jobs.  The data itself never moves from the first-party database.

Since smaller agencies have reduced capacity and skills to apply rigor to security, risk is dramatically reduced. If the first party is supported by a network of 20 agencies and 50 attorneys, that’s 70 points of vulnerability – particularly since most of these smaller shops can’t afford to deploy ironclad technologies, policies, processes and procedures to guard against internal and external breeches, and constantly keep it all on the required, bleeding edge of innovation.

From a compliance and QA standpoint, monitoring, audits, testing, and other policies can be standardized and cost-effectively conducted as a best practice.

The bottom line is that now collections departments can focus on running their businesses – and worry less about whether the next data security headache will compromise their valuable customers’ data.

To learn more, download our white paper, C&R Charts a Course for the Cloud.

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