The Impact of Attack Surface Management in Mortgage Servicing

In the constantly evolving financial services landscape, where security threats are significant, and regulatory pressures are abundant, staying ahead is imperative. This case study describes how a leading mortgage servicer (choosing to remain anonymous) overcame challenges and transformed its security posture by implementing an attack surface management program. The organization not only updated its infrastructure but also strengthened its defenses, optimized compliance processes, and became a model of security excellence in the industry.

Client Profile 

Our client, a top-tier mortgage servicer operating in the United States, boasts a vast consumer base and presence in this financial market. Led by a CISO, the organization implemented a plan to fortify its security infrastructure by enhancing compliance procedures and mitigating evolving cyber threats. 

Challenges 

Legacy Infrastructure Woes – Like many financial institutions, the client was faced with antiquated infrastructure, notably IBM WebSphere stacks, which posed significant management challenges and left vulnerabilities ripe for exploitation. 

Resistance to Modernization – Despite the CISO’s vision to modernize infrastructure and adhere to industry-standard security practices, gaining buy-in from stakeholders proved difficult. 

Expansive Attack Surface – With an expansive organization comprising over 5,000 employees and a diverse portfolio of financial products, including mortgages, the client faced the daunting task of securing a large attack surface encompassing web and mobile applications, third-party integrations, networks, and physical locations. 

Resource-Intensive Vulnerability Management – Managing vulnerabilities across such a wide attack surface demanded substantial resources, often resulting in slow response times to security incidents and the wasting of millions of dollars on redundant or ineffective resources. 

The Solution 

Implementation of Attack Surface ManagementRecognizing the need for proactive security measures, the organization implemented an attack surface management program. By continually identifying the attack surface, vulnerabilities were automatically identified and remediated without the need for cumbersome scheduling or external requests. 

Impactful Vulnerability Identification – Leveraging this approach, the organization identified and exploited vulnerabilities, thereby showcasing the tangible impact of lax security practices. For example, the discovery of a critical vulnerability in a web application leading to the disclosure of Personally Identifiable Information (PII) empowered the CISO to advocate for enhanced security measures. 

Streamlined Asset Inventory – By continually identifying assets, the organization discovered shadow I.T., had up-to-date inventories for compliance controls, and gained continuous visibility into its attack surface. Real-time reporting ensured constant readiness, alleviating the burden of control tracking and evidence gathering. 

Outcomes 

Automated Vulnerability Remediation – Implementing this program facilitated the automatic validation of vulnerability remediations, significantly reducing response times and enhancing overall security resilience. 

Enhanced Security Awareness – By showcasing the real-world impact of vulnerabilities, the organization instilled a culture of security consciousness, fostering greater collaboration and adherence to best practices across departments. 

Cost Savings and Efficiency – With streamlined compliance processes and automated vulnerability management, the client realized substantial cost savings by eliminating redundant spending and optimizing resource allocation. 

Industry Recognition – The client’s proactive approach to security, coupled with its successful implementation of attack surface management, garnered industry praise, positioning it as a trailblazer in cybersecurity within the financial services sector. 

Conclusion 

In an era marked by rapid technological advancement and evolving cyber threats, continuous vigilance and proactive security measures are essential. By strategically implementing an attack surface management program, our client overcame challenges, strengthened its security posture, and became a beacon of excellence in the financial services sector.

With a skilled CISO leading the way and a dedication to innovation and collaboration, the organization is well-prepared to navigate the complexities of the digital age with confidence and resilience.

 

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