Address by ROB LEE, Executive Vice President, ALLTEL RLS
Delivered at the Annual Meeting of Mortgage Bankers Association of America, San Francisco, California, October 31, 2000
INTERNET SECURITY AND ONLINE BANKING
Thank you, Jim. Good morning, everyone. We're glad you joined us. Who says these conference planners don't have a sense of humor?
Today is Halloween, and this morning we're going to talk about one of the scariest issues facing our industry to day - and that is Internet security as it pertains to mortgage banking.
It's not exactly "The Nightmare on Elm Street." But it could become the nightmare on Main Street if we don't deal with it more forcefully. Because right now, somewhere in the spooky zones of cyberspace, somebody is breaking into somebody else's network.
I hope it's not yours or mine.
But unfortunately, we won't know that until after the deed is done.
The good news is, all those Freddie Kruegers running around out there are not alone. A lot of people -- a pretty big army, in fact -- are working around the clock to safeguard networks from intruders.
It's a cat-and-mouse game. And fortunately, many computer hackers are in it just for kicks, for the pure thrill of sneaking in someplace they're not supposed to go.
Sometimes they leave an electronic calling card, to let the people running the network know they've scored a point. And sometimes they behave like ghosts, leaving no trace at all of their incursion -- and usually, no damage.
Other hackers are just plain thieves.
They want your data and they're going to steal it if they can.
But at least thieves operate with logic and methods that are somewhat predictable. They're like the villains in the James Bond movies -- evil, but in the end, defeatable.
The most dangerous hackers, though, are also the hardest to understand. Their motivation is pure malice.
They want to crash your network ... vandalize your data ... destroy your customer relationships ... cause your business to stop functioning. And they've concocted a real witches brew of computer viruses, crackers and worms to do it.
Now, at this point you may regret coming here this morning.
This is not the kind of stuff anyone wants to hear to start the day. But you need to hear it -- even if you've heard it before.
Why? Because the mortgage banking industry is migrating toward the Internet just like everyone else. It's unstoppable -- a hundred-year event that's changing the way commerce is …