Modern Lending Podcast | Billy Spears

Alec has on former LoanDepot Chief Informations Security Officer own to make a pivot to the other side of the web that we normally do not see. A pivot to the person and his team that keeps us safe from cyber attacks and the bad actors out there that want to hurt our customers and our business.

Your snippet of this episode of the Modern Lending Podcast:

  • Billy's origin story is one for the books...homeland security...what!?
  • Privacy vs. Security, whats the difference
  • Make sure to thank a tech guy, they don't sleep so you can.
  • There's a lot of bad actors, but luckily there are people like Billy who protect us.

Episode Transcribe

Alec Hanson:
What up Modern Lending podcasters.

 Welcome back to episode nine.

We are going to take a radical change in direction. We've been talking about sales and originations and sales strategies and operations, but let's go to the other side of the mortgage industry. Let's go into information security. Let's go talk about hacking. Let's go talk about the bad actors in the world out there, and what is being done to protect mortgage companies every day. I'm going to bring on former LoanDepot employee, Billy Spears. Now, while he's no longer here at the time we did the podcast, he was our chief information security officer. And man, he has a lot of stories to tell and share about what's really going on. He did a great job for us while he was here at LoanDepot and he's continuing to change that world out in other industries today. So without further ado buckle up because we're going to go to the dark side of the web with Billy Spears.
All right, what's up everybody? Alec Hanson back with another episode of the Modern Lending podcast here with the one, the only Billy Spears. Now, Billy did you know I was going to call you under this stupid podcast? Where you prepared? When you saw it come out, where you're like, "Oh no, he's going to call me now."?

Billy Spears:
I wasn't prepared at all. It's definitely a treat to be out here in front for once.

Alec Hanson:
Well, this is fun. So guys, listeners, this is a totally radical different conversation we're going to have today. I mean, we've had high level sales executives and Tammy and operations and mortgage technology and loan officers. And now we're going to go to the other side of the house, which is cool. So for those of you that don't know Billy Spears, he's the EVP chief information security officer. He's like our bad-ass in the back room, like protecting us from the bad guys. So... It's true though. It's true. So I really want to unpack this whole thing, Billy, but really quick, before we get your origin story and kind of how you got into the business, what does a chief information security officer do? Like, what does that mean? For somebody who's like, I don't know what that is.

Billy Spears:
Sure. It's more than a matrix. We're not just looking at ones and zeros all day. It's kind of like a superhero, but at the end of the day, what we do is we try to clean up the quality of the data. So you have to make sure that the data is what you expect and the data kind of grows organically throughout the pipeline all day long. So what we get is we get adversaries, or we call them bad guys, right? And bad guys are coming in trying to prevent or stop the quality of the data and they do it through all kinds of different means. So when you talk to us, we kind of talk a little strange sometimes because we're so caught in the weeds with all the attacks and all the things we're trying to keep out of your environment. But most of the day, we're trying to manage data quality.

Alec Hanson:
All right. So there's bad actors in the world. They want to get into our business. They want to take our data, mess it up, blackmail us, whatever they want to do, sell it, all the crazy stuff. And you're the first line of defense?

Billy Spears:
That's true.

Alec Hanson:
Okay. Okay. So that's what we're really going to unpack today. But before we get into kind of that world of mortgage which is just not talked about. Let's talk about you. Let's frame it up so everybody understands who you are. What did you start doing, Billy? What's your origin story?

Billy Spears:
Sure. Thanks Alec. This is interesting. I have a sort of a different origin story. I grew up in downtown Detroit, downtown proper. So those of you from Detroit, [8 Mile 00:03:20] Woodward.

Alec Hanson:
Yeah. What's up. Shout out for them.

Billy Spears:
That's right. From there, you sort of grow. My dad, he was a pipe fitter Union guy. He worked really hard for a living and when he started to retire, he had his dream was to own a farm. We always thought he was kidding around. I had a bunch of brothers and whatnot. He said, we're the labor force. We were like, "Nah, that's not true."

Alec Hanson:
That's not going to happen.

Billy Spears:
It did. He bought a farm and he was like, "Hey guys, here's tractors and tools and dig and plant seeds." And we were like, "Whoa, listen, this is not for us." And then he gave us a choice. He's like, "Hey, you can join the Union. You can work on the farm or you can go do something else." So we all turned on the TV and we were like, how did these other people live? We had no clue. So we all left.

Alec Hanson:
Oh my gosh. All of you left.

Billy Spears:
All of us.

Alec Hanson:
How many brothers?

Billy Spears:
I have four brothers, five of us in total. We all joined different branches of the military.

Alec Hanson:
Really? All of you?

Billy Spears:
I'm the only Marines. So I'm pretty proud of that.

Alec Hanson:
There you go. Yeah.

Billy Spears:
So I left for the Marines.

Alec Hanson:
Wow.

Billy Spears:
That kind of the story for me was I wanted to see how the other sort of side of the world live. I want to see this is wacky place in California, how do these people live? They always seem happy, right?

Alec Hanson:
But they're bizarre.

Billy Spears:
That's right. So that's what I did. So I joined the Marines. You take these little tests that kind of tells you what you can be in life. And mine came out where, "Hey, you're pretty good with technology." I was like, "Cool. Technology sounds fun."

Alec Hanson:
Sounds amazing.

Billy Spears:
Cool. So what they did is they taught me to program and sort of an old school language now, it's called Unix shell. And what I did is I programmed mission one computers on FA teams. So-

Alec Hanson:
Mission one computers on FA teams.

Billy Spears:
That's right. That's important because there is a mission two.

Alec Hanson:
Okay.

Billy Spears:
So that wasn't me. That was somebody else's.

Alec Hanson:
There was a mission one though.

Billy Spears:
That's right. So what that means is when the birds fly, they have to understand where they're going, much like what you do in a commercial airline. And we have to program where it's going, what might happen in case of emergency and make sure that the asset, the jet and the people get to the place in case of diversions.

Alec Hanson:
Wow.

Billy Spears:
So that was my job. It was a really, really fun job. And-

Alec Hanson:
How long did you do that for?

Billy Spears:
I did it for seven years, three months and 21 days. Don't judge me.

Alec Hanson:
Specifically. Yeah. So just happened to know my numbers.

Billy Spears:
That's right. Most military guys do.

Alec Hanson:
And then what happened after that?

Billy Spears:
From there was... It was kind of wonky. The market was a little different for folks coming out of the military, especially coming from what we call the theater.

Alec Hanson:
The theater?

Billy Spears:
Yeah. It's not like the movies, so it's a little different. So when you sort of come back from combat and trauma and whatnot there's a settling period for adjustment. So for me, I didn't settle really well when I first got back. And so the idea there was, how do you sort of grow with the skillset that I had learned? I get a little better, but be ready for a regular industry.

Alec Hanson:
And you mentioned too right now there's a very strong... I would say pro veteran kind of ethos-

Billy Spears:
That's true.

Alec Hanson:
... in America today, but you were mentioning that hasn't always been the case.

Billy Spears:
It's true. I mean, it wasn't like the Vietnam guys for me. Right. So nobody was calling me names or spitting on me or anything like that, but they just weren't really to take a chance. It wasn't like, "Hey, let's go hire a veteran. Let's give the guy a chance. Let's teach him something." Because that would have been really cool. Instead, they're like, "Hey, this guy might go postal in my office. So nah we're not going to take a chance on you."

Alec Hanson:
A little judgment.

Billy Spears:
And I was like, "Dude, why are you judging me?" I'm pretty smart with computers. Right. So I stayed in the federal government-

Alec Hanson:
Nice.

Billy Spears:
... went to this place called Glynn County, Georgia. It's a really small place on a map so if you're in that area, you know what I'm talking about. So what's up. And-

Alec Hanson:
How many people were there? Come on.

Billy Spears:
There's one stoplight. So it was-

Alec Hanson:
One stoplight.

Billy Spears:
... pretty interesting. So from there, what we did is we learned, so we had to build an entire ecosystem. What I thought was interesting in that particular place, we got to build 3D and 4D simulators to help our law enforcement guys.

Alec Hanson:
Okay. So unpack that a little bit. You're building... What part of the government is this?

Billy Spears:
So at the time it was The Department of Treasury and it's simply there for, kind of like the IRS and whatnot. They stick it there. It's sort of a cost item on a budget. What it became was the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. And then it got really sexy from there.

Alec Hanson:
Okay. So before it became Homeland Security, you were building 3D and 4D models to train?

Billy Spears:
We were. So we were building rooms, mock houses, and we had SAG actors and actresses sort of playing roles. And we're... Pretend arresting them and pretend kicking doors in and driving fast on race tracks, whatever.

Alec Hanson:
So guys role-playing has never left the industry. In sales you've got to role-play-

Billy Spears:
That's right.

Alec Hanson:
... in real life they're role-playing.

Billy Spears:
It's really cool.

Alec Hanson:
If you're not role-playing your sales calls you're blowing it because the professionals role-play.

Billy Spears:
That's right.

Alec Hanson:
I dig it, dude. And then it became Homeland Security.

Billy Spears:
It did. And when that happened, everything got interesting and much more severe, much more sophisticated. We were called up to Washington. There's a small grouping of folks that were pretty good at the industry building these things had never been done before. So they called us up to Washington and we built two things. One is the first cybersecurity program of the United States. The second is the first privacy program in the United States. Very different, but interrelated.

Alec Hanson:
What do those things do?

Billy Spears:
So when you think about privacy, it's really about the appropriate access to information. Meaning you have access, you're in a company, you can see... So let's put it in LoanDepot standard. So right now you have access, you can see every customer we have, but should you? It's not really bathroom reading father, whether or not-

Alec Hanson:
Right.

Billy Spears:
... some professional athlete or some famous person got a mortgage through Depot.

Alec Hanson:
Right.

Billy Spears:
But people do they get curious. So privacy is sort of tempering that, and it's also about creating safety for consumers. So what we're trying to do with privacy is we're trying to build trust, will consumers purchase using our products? Do they believe that we will protect their information throughout the lifecycle, et cetera?
Security is the technical integration of all those standards and all those sort of governance layers-

Alec Hanson:
Cheese.

Billy Spears:
... that we put in place.

Alec Hanson:
So you became Homeland Security?

Billy Spears:
Yeah.

Alec Hanson:
You built the first couple crazy government security systems, I guess. Is that right?

Billy Spears:
Yeah. The idea was we consolidate it, think of it that way. So three letter agencies don't like to share, right?

Alec Hanson:
Fair.

Billy Spears:
So you have different agencies. They're very special. They have their own unique data. They don't really want to talk to other sort of agencies.

Alec Hanson:
Sure. I'm sure they have very sensitive data.

Billy Spears:
They're all equally sensitive, right?

Alec Hanson:
Yeah. Fair.

Billy Spears:
The idea there was how do we consolidate to a system that makes sense. But how do we keep the information segregated based on the agency individually? And so that was a... That's a very difficult challenge when you're talking about 22 or 23 major agencies and a whole bunch of subdirectorates underneath all around the country. So the minute it was formed, it was 200,000 people from zero.

Alec Hanson:
Wow.

Billy Spears:
So you got to think of all the people and all the people on the borders and all the stuff that we care about in America today, those are the kinds of issues we're fighting. And then right about the time that it started, we had hurricane Katrina.

Alec Hanson:
Oh my God.

Billy Spears:
A huge catastrophic event and not just United States, but everywhere because families were getting separated from their children and whatnot. So think about that in the context of a , if you have half of a file one place, and it goes to... I don't know, Kentucky, and then old school, the other half of the file goes somewhere in Arizona.

Alec Hanson:
Oh yes.

Billy Spears:
And then you got to put them back together, but this is people we're talking about. So it was a very difficult challenge for not just the privacy, but also the security-

Alec Hanson:
So how long did you work there? How long did you do this kind of stuff for?

Billy Spears:
Altogether about three and a half, maybe close to four years.

Alec Hanson:
Okay.

Billy Spears:
It was enough.

Alec Hanson:
It was enough. So after four years, what happened? You decided to... Where'd you go?

Billy Spears:
Yeah from there I decided to take my trade back in the industry. Right. So it was sort of always the goal. From there I went down sort of the South Midwest and I went to Austin, Texas America.

Alec Hanson:
Oh I love Austin.

Billy Spears:
And we started to build cybersecurity and privacy programs at Dell. So Dell was much smaller then, but it's sort of grown into this fantastic machine.

Alec Hanson:
Yeah. It's big.

Billy Spears:
I can't take any credit for that.

Alec Hanson:
Okay.

Billy Spears:
On the backend. It was interesting watching data move. So if you think about how we use data today, how we analyze it, how the business intelligence we get off of it to help us predict or help us sort of understand where to move in the market. That's really what we are learning at Dell. It was sort of how do we use the analytics for monetary benefit or really to as I heard Anthony have said over and over now, how do we delight our customers? Right? It's just a different kind of context here than it was there.

Alec Hanson:
So after Dell.

Billy Spears:
From Dell, I started my own company.

Alec Hanson:
Whoa.

Billy Spears:
It was super exciting. I realized that I do not want to be an accountant any circumstance.

Alec Hanson:
Yes. That's no one realize that when you start your own business, you're like, "Wait a minute. I got to do all this. I got to do taxes on this. I got to do bio bookkeeping."

Billy Spears:
It was a lot. I thought for sure, I was going to... There was going to be the time where I could tell my story and I was going to go out and just make this big disruption into the cybersecurity space. And I thought, "Hey, you know what? This is going to be great. Entrepreneurial mindset. Let's get it done." What I didn't realize it was in the economic downturn. So it was right there. 2009, 2010, everything was terrible. There was no really money to be spent. So we did okay for about a year and a half and after a while my wife said, "Hey, it's time for you to get off the couch and go do something else." So I went to General Electric and General Electric was another boom at the time for when you think about innovation in the space, because not only did we use all the concepts and sort of in my world, technology ones and zeros, figuring out data, intellectual property, those kinds of things but we had the research budget to kind of solution the technologies themselves. So you have all these technologies in our space. There's about 4,000.

Alec Hanson:
Really.

Billy Spears:
So if you think about why cybersecurity is so hard for companies, because there's too much to choose from, right? If you could just package it down and say, this is the pathway, it'd be really easy, but it's not for us. So you take different pieces of it and you try to solution the best thing for your organization. And at General Electric, we've got to do that. And we kind of whittled it down to a science. And so from there we were able to replicate. So from there the story, it gets pretty easy. So I went to Hyundai Capital from there. Hyundai Capital's huge. I didn't realize either. I thought it was car company.

Alec Hanson:
No.

Billy Spears:
Those of you think it's a car company, it's not. Steel manufacturing. So they kind of have eight or nine business lines and then when it comes out there're some cars there too.

Alec Hanson:
Yes.

Billy Spears:
But when you think that they have both public companies, private companies. So it's a very sophisticated model that makes it very difficult to secure. From there, we get into the Depot story and I think that's the magic.

Alec Hanson:
Well, so how did you get introduced to Depot?

Billy Spears:
LoanDepot is interest... Over a burger.

Alec Hanson:
Yes.

Billy Spears:
For your audience.

Alec Hanson:
Yes. All good things happen over food.

Billy Spears:
I think when I got first introduced to LoanDepot, it's kind of the same story that I think everybody out there hears. They said, "Hey, LoanDepot." And I thought the same thing as everyone else, you said Home Depot.

Alec Hanson:
Home Depot.

Billy Spears:
Right.

Alec Hanson:
All day.

Billy Spears:
It was interesting. And they were like, no LoanDepot we're a mortgage company. And I'm like, "Huh?" And so they explained the story of Quicken and I was like, "Oh yeah, I know Quicken. I'm from Detroit." Right.

Alec Hanson:
Yeah.

Billy Spears:
And they're like, "We're number two in this space. We're this rocket ship, we're trying to make this first digital mortgage solution. It's never been done. We're trying to help people's lives and really work towards the customer." I was like, "Man, that's cool." A company focused on the customer and they want to use tech to innovate or drive the industry. That's something I hadn't been part of before. So as a technologist, that's really sexy. And so for me, I was like, "Okay, let's unpack that question. What does that mean?" And so-

Alec Hanson:
Totally.

Billy Spears:
Yeah. And so I got to go to meet the tech folks here at LoanDepot and what I realized is these are some of the smartest humans you'll ever meet. So if you're out there and you ever get to visit one of our locations where we have tech people go say hi, appreciate them. Give them a high five. Buy them a soda. It doesn't matter. These people are working 24 hours a day around the clock. They're building new features, they're securing your space. They're making sure that everything is right so you can just do your job. And without these people, it would be like getting on the freeway and not moving anywhere ever. No HOV lane.

Alec Hanson:
So this is amazing and this is why I wanted to bring you on Billy to talk about this stuff because sometimes... I'm a simplistic sales guy and we get so focused on what we do. And we forget that without all of the parts behind us, we can't do what we do. And that to me is the funnest part about just this conversation is unpacking that. And so what I want to ask, now that you've been... How long have you been at LoanDepot? Right.

Billy Spears:
Two and a half years.

Alec Hanson:
Two and a half years.

Billy Spears:
Just over. So whoo, whoo.

Alec Hanson:
Congrats.

Billy Spears:
Over the hump.

Alec Hanson:
Yeah. So you kind of hit what drew you in, what do you do every day? Unpack that for some people. Because I think everyone thinks, like, we know what salespeople do everyday. They sit around and go on social media.

Billy Spears:
Right.

Alec Hanson:
And don't actually call their customers.

Billy Spears:
Yeah, I see them. They're there.

Alec Hanson:
So what do you do every day? What are you focused on? What are the big objectives you're trying to handle?

Billy Spears:
Sure. So the first thing that I say, Alec, and you've heard me say this before I hope is I make sure that I don't sleep so all of you can. Right. It's really, really important. I take little cat naps. I've done that now for the last 15 or 20 years, it's kind of a rhythm for me. Other people need more sleep, but for me, every time I get into a deep sleep, I think, "Oh my gosh, did I check this one last thing?" It'd be kind of like leaving your house and you're not sure if he locked the door. Yeah. Same thing with the companies that I represent. And here at LoanDepot, what I do every day is we're looking at how much, so it's a balance of how much security to have versus how much we implement. And when we integrate technology are we improving the lives of the people using the technology? Because security should be transparent.

Alec Hanson:
Yup.

Billy Spears:
When I first arrived in 2017, it was anything but transparent.

Alec Hanson:
Sure.

Billy Spears:
And it was very frustrating for people banging on keyboards, loan officers or otherwise because every time we put something on, we would stop or disrupt or change the way they did business. And that wasn't on purpose. We were trying to get to a place that actually makes people's lives easier. But the challenge is when you layer on technology after technology, you're not quite sure how it's going to interact with the normal loan process. So what I do every day is we're trying to keep the bad guys out and we're trying to keep business flowing.

Alec Hanson:
Well, so who are the bad guys?

Billy Spears:
Sure. That's great.

Alec Hanson:
Because there's probably a spectrum of bad guys.

Billy Spears:
Sure.

Alec Hanson:
Yeah. Well, who are they?

Billy Spears:
Yeah, yeah. So you start with sort of your state sponsored actors, right.

Alec Hanson:
Okay. State sponsored actors.

Billy Spears:
You got it. So this is your government institutions. This is-

Alec Hanson:
This is Russia.

Billy Spears:
You got it.

Alec Hanson:
This is the straight up... Like this is the Russian interference intellect... Okay. Okay. Just kind of frame it up.

Billy Spears:
For sure. I wasn't going to go political. It's a political time right now, but yeah, this is definitely Russia-

Alec Hanson:
When you say state sponsored-

Billy Spears:
China and all these other people trying to get information over time and they buy and sell and transact data throughout all the other sort of sales pipeline. So if you think about sales information it's definitely a supply market.

Alec Hanson:
In term of black market.

Billy Spears:
You got it.

Alec Hanson:
Okay.

Billy Spears:
We call it the dark web, but you might call it the black market.

Alec Hanson:
I like... Yeah.

Billy Spears:
It's not a guy selling you a watch opening up his jacket, but at the end of the day, it's the same sort of principle and whatever you can get there, you're transacting through Bitcoin or some-

Alec Hanson:
So are there really state-sponsored bad guys out there?

Billy Spears:
Oh absolutely. Oh my gosh. For sure. It's the number one. They're the smartest attacks. So they typically sit for longer periods of time. They listen and they learn and what they do is they build a targeted attack so they can effect some change like an election or otherwise.

Alec Hanson:
Fascinating. Okay. So you've got state sponsored bad guys?

Billy Spears:
You have state sponsored. Then you get sort of your hacktivists. These are folks that sort of have a mission kind of, they want to-

Alec Hanson:
You're saying these like the Robin Hoods. They think of themselves as like the Robin Hoods?

Billy Spears:
Yeah. You got it.

Alec Hanson:
Like they're taking down the man, or whoever they believe-

Billy Spears:
Whoever they believe to be the man. So sometimes it's corporations. Sometimes it's a nonprofit. Sometimes it's some-

Alec Hanson:
We've got nonprofit?

Billy Spears:
Some belief system. It just depends on-

Alec Hanson:
And are these individual actors?

Billy Spears:
They are or groups, right.

Alec Hanson:
Yeah. Okay. Sure.

Billy Spears:
So they can form in small teams or whatnot and they'll go back and forth and kind of steal your identity and barter and sell it and whatnot. Then you get the straight up hackers. So these are one offs. I used to call these kids 15 year olds with Cheetos, but they're much smarter now.

Alec Hanson:
They're now 3 year olds with Cheetos.

Billy Spears:
That's right. They're still there. Lots of Cheetos. They're just grown.

Alec Hanson:
They went from AOL, stealing someone's credit card and now they're up here.

Billy Spears:
You got it. So you get those guys and those are kind of fun because you actually get to... It's sort of like a game of Dungeons & Dragons-

Alec Hanson:
Is it fun?

Billy Spears:
Yeah, because it's easier when you only have one adversary to sort of compete with. So that's fun. It's much harder when everybody's sort of targeting you all at once.

Alec Hanson:
Oh my God.

Billy Spears:
You know you're still trying to run a business. Remember it's not Space Invaders. We're not just one off one sort of matching up with these guys. We're literally trying to keep everybody out-

Alec Hanson:
Putting walls up almost.

Billy Spears:
You got it. Different layers of protections.

Alec Hanson:
Okay. And simplistically, you kind of answered it a couple different ways, but I want to hit it again. What are they trying to achieve? Like simplistically.

Billy Spears:
Simplistically, they're trying to get in and discover. Get to the-

Alec Hanson:
You mean get access to our information?

Billy Spears:
Yeah. They just want to discover what we know and what we have and who you are. Right. So the interesting thing from the bad guy's perspective is, can I get into the company? Lots of ways they get in. So think about every time we're out there and we want to hook up something cool. So Alexa is pretty cool. "Hey, I want an Alexa in my office." Cool. The minute we hook that on our network, it's an open pipe somewhere. And if we don't know that-

Alec Hanson:
So we know she's listening.

Billy Spears:
Always listening.

Alec Hanson:
Always listening.

Billy Spears:
So if she's always listening someone else can too. And that's kind of some of the challenge if we're not integrated into security in the beginning then we don't know how to configure, don't know that exists. So it pops up on our screen and we start thinking, "Hey, we're being attacked or something." So we shut it off immediately. We get the call from the loan officer. "Dude, I'm trying to do my job. You just stopped my pipeline or something." We're like, "Dude, we stopped an attacker, not you."

Alec Hanson:
Well, okay. So they're trying to get in, they're trying to discover what we have, who we are.

Billy Spears:
Yeah.

Alec Hanson:
And so they can take that information out and sell it, manipulate us, blackmail us.

Billy Spears:
Yeah. So let's go back a little bit. So they're trying to get in for the data. For us we have consumer data, employee data, and we have all the things that transcribe in between. That's really the value for us. We also have a lot of intellectual property. Think about all that mello software we've been writing for the last... however many years, right. That's valuable to LoanDepot and the brand and those things. Those are the three things they're trying to get. So that's the crown jewels.

Alec Hanson:
Well, and there's also wire fraud. There's massive wire fraud right now.

Billy Spears:
True. Well, that's on the other side. So that's what they're trying to do with it. Right.

Alec Hanson:
Okay.

Billy Spears:
So the idea is how do you get in, right? So they're trying to get to the crown jewels we just described. How do they get in? The most prevalent way people get in right now is through what we call social engineering attack. There's a-

Alec Hanson:
Jacking people.

Billy Spears:
You got it. So there's a couple of methods for that.

Alec Hanson:
Just straight up jacking people.

Billy Spears:
Just straight up jacking you and you don't even realize it because you're so busy. And the most prevalent way we get it is through emails at LoanDepot. It's probably 96% of all attacks that we get here that actually touch humans and that's where the human generosity of the LoanDepot family comes into play because we are so nice to people that we just accommodate.

Alec Hanson:
Well. So I have a story about-

Billy Spears:
Sure.

Alec Hanson:
... your guys' org. Myself and I'm sure like many people out there listening we understand what phishing is and not the fun kind, not the Anthony [Shea 00:21:05] kind.

Billy Spears:
Not the Anthony kind.

Alec Hanson:
Yeah. Not the Anthony kind. Because we just get these spam style emails all the time and they're always like, log in here, click here, then they're spoofed, certainly you can tell, you look at the URL, look at the email address. You can tell it's not really a person. But my story was I consider myself relatively savvy and on the ball and I'm on my phone and I got an email and it tricked me like for real. And I like, "Okay." Well, I login real quick. I got something that... I can't even remember, but what I do remember was in like within 30 seconds of me hitting that, I had a call from somebody in your world and an email saying, we just picked up a login from you in like Belize or something. Somebody's not... And so we we're taking care of it, blah, blah. And I'm like, "Oh my God, I got goofed. They got me." But you were on it. You shut that down.

Billy Spears:
On it. For sure.

Alec Hanson:
You're like, Alec is not in like Russia logging in right now.

Billy Spears:
Yeah. We call that impossible travel situations.

Alec Hanson:
Yes.

Billy Spears:
So for us, it's interesting because a lot of loan officers, they take vacations in-

Alec Hanson:
Of course.

Billy Spears:
... these exotic locations. So I'm very jealous of all of you, by the way. You guys go to some of the best vacations on the planet and when you're there, hey, you don't want to lose your pipeline. You want to keep everything flowing.

Alec Hanson:
Yeah.

Billy Spears:
It's really important.

Alec Hanson:
You got to talk to customers.

Billy Spears:
For sure. My initial reaction back in September, 2017 was, "Hey, on vacation, be on vacation, don't work." And they're like, "Hey, that won't work for."

Alec Hanson:
That's not going-

Billy Spears:
That's not possible.

Alec Hanson:
... be a thing.

Billy Spears:
Right. So I was like, "Okay, so now that I'm thinking outside the box, let's find a different solution." So what we did is we had the mad scientist up in our security operation center, kind of build a program customized for LoanDepot and it simply says that if you go a certain distance in an impossible amount of time, seconds, then what we're going to do is flag it. So we can detect it in four seconds.

Alec Hanson:
That's better.

Billy Spears:
So that's probably how quick you get it. We came up with that number randomly because that's the speed of our dialer. So we were like, we want to match the dialer. So that was the goal and we can do it. We do it-

Alec Hanson:
So I look like I've moved across the country in four seconds.

Billy Spears:
You're going to get the call. We're going to lock you out. You're going to get a couple of different things that comes from IT ops and whatnot. It's a machine at this point.

Alec Hanson:
Because that was an amazing experience for me.

Billy Spears:
[crosstalk 00:23:09] hundreds-

Alec Hanson:
And I was like, that was crazy.

Billy Spears:
Yeah. So we got your back. That's what we're trying to say there. And then we're always trying to improve. So we'll throw some innovation in here right now. For the last two years, we've been trying to race the market to get to passwordless authentication. So what that really-

Alec Hanson:
Oh my God. Please tell me you're close because this password thing.

Billy Spears:
We're very close, but we need your help. Right. So at the end of the day in order to-

Alec Hanson:
I can't help you.

Billy Spears:
Oh. You Alec the Hanson, get out of here. This is the guy that makes the impossible possible all day long.

Alec Hanson:
No. So what is password authentication or passwordless authentication?

Billy Spears:
So it's kind of like when you open up your iPhone and you have all the bells and whistles on it-

Alec Hanson:
Yeah, it scans your face, right?

Billy Spears:
You look at your iPhone and you're in.

Alec Hanson:
Yep.

Billy Spears:
No passwords, no touching the screen, no remembering some secret code, nothing. It just happens.

Alec Hanson:
Yep.

Billy Spears:
But in order for that to happen, there's a whole lot of steps behind the scenes that I won't bore you with but a lot of that stuff has to happen. And in our business, we're in different levels of maturity for that to happen. So for example, on my phone, in my device, as the security guy at the company, I'm passwordless, and I have to display that because if I won't drink my own Kool-Aid how can I ask you to do any of it? And I can assure you, it doesn't slow me down for anything. I have probably, if not the most, one of the most open accesses there are so I can see everything if I need to.

Alec Hanson:
Yup.

Billy Spears:
Now my team, I just said that on recording so my team is going to be shutting me down right now, right at the end of the day.

Alec Hanson:
Yeah, exactly.

Billy Spears:
Like an invitation-

Alec Hanson:
Sorry Billy.

Billy Spears:
... I built into my account. They're like, you used to have a lot of access. Right. But the idea is if I can continue doing my job and it doesn't slow me down and I can still get to what I need, but I still have all these layers of protection, then I can make it really cool and sexy for the person on the ground. No more codes, no more waiting for a text. No more... None of this stuff, just do your job.

Alec Hanson:
It'd be nice. I would like to not have to change my password every couple of months and then I forget it and then when I remember it, they say, that's the wrong one.

Billy Spears:
Yeah. You got it.

Alec Hanson:
What's the right one? And I'm in hell.

Billy Spears:
Right. But we'll reset it for you again. No problem.

Alec Hanson:
Yeah. No problem. There's no problem.

Billy Spears:
So we're getting there. So we want to use certificates. Certificates, machines, talking to machines that validates the human, the human has their own stuff. Security. Another thing to kind of tell the viewers here. Security. We don't care what you're doing on your own time. We're not trying to look in your device or talk about what your kids are doing. We have so many-

Alec Hanson:
Yeah. Alexa's doing that.

Billy Spears:
Yeah. Whatever she does, but you've hooked her up so you can keep those records. We get 10 million sort of inbound requests a day. There's nobody on my tiny team, they can look at anyone's stuff. What we are trying to do is separate LoanDepot data from personal data so that we can ensure that quality exists so you can be a lean mean loan operating machine.

Alec Hanson:
So before I get into kind of the good stuff of what you're working on, I want to really just kind of end this conversation for the bad guys, because for those... If you're in the mortgage industry and you're listening to this you're an avenue into your company. So what are some of the things that they need to look out for? I mentioned phishing, those emails come through, but what other stuff are people susceptible to?

Billy Spears:
I think people are susceptible to normal business factors where you print things. So if you leave a customer file. I know we don't have paper cuts that much anymore, but those of you who do out in the field, when you print stuff and leave it laying around, that's a huge risk for the bad guy. They want that stuff. Yeah. They come in with cleaning crews and other stuff to really bring that out. So they can put the pieces together like a puzzle and they can solve for again, the data or how to get in. Your credentials. What we find in our company is we are so nice, especially in the branches where you might have people working or working out of your account or whatever. You're so quick to give your credentials away and that is your authentication into everything.
So when you give it to one and they give it to someone else and you have three or four people working with the same account, we don't know that it's you because all of the technology fires off your characteristics, are you right handed? Are you left handed? Do you use a Mac or a PC? Or do you login from California, Alabama? Because if you log in from Belize that throws us off.

Alec Hanson:
Yup.

Billy Spears:
Things like the pressure of your keystrokes and we do that through timing. So if you type really fast, we know it's you, you type really slow we know it's someone else and that's going to raise up a flag and-

Alec Hanson:
You're actually tracking keystrokes.

Billy Spears:
The time of keystrokes-

Alec Hanson:
Yeah, okay.

Billy Spears:
For sure. Yeah. So what we call those is indicators, right. So it's not really about Billy or Alec. It's about, do we believe as a reasonable guess that this is normal behavior? So we don't actually know what the timing is of the keystrokes-

Alec Hanson:
Right.

Billy Spears:
... but we know, "Hey, it's normal green. Hey, it's abnormal. Let's go to another check and make sure that the right person is in our environment all the time."

Alec Hanson:
Yup. I was aware of a situation that happened in San Diego recently where a customer, they got kind of tricked and they wired $700,000 to a fake... a bad actor. And you look at that happening in our industry and it's heartbreaking that this kind of stuff can happen to people. But the reality is everyone's got to have another level of kind of intensity and focus around this stuff, because it's real.

Billy Spears:
Absolutely. I think with wire fraud, that's what you're describing. That's sort of the use case once they get in, once they're sort of talking to people and it's rules of three kind of like sales, I would imagine. The first time you talk to someone cold call, kind of ignore you, blow you off. The second time, you're starting to build that rapport and by the time you get to the third time, just because of the way how fast businesses transact, they kind of believe you and they're like, "Oh yeah, I know this guy on the phone or this lady and I want to be helpful and whatnot." So that's the wire fraud. It comes in a couple of different forms, but where we see it as if they get into your account and they're able to see some of the transactions, we put a lot of loan numbers and whatnot in our emails. So they start to build this case of how to manipulate the customer, which is third party to LoanDepot. So that's-

Alec Hanson:
Yeah, from my understanding, it was an email from a spoofed escrow and it looked almost identical to the emails they've been getting from that escrow person. The signature was the same, everything was dialed in, except the only thing that was different was that the email was slightly different and they didn't see that.

Billy Spears:
That's surprising. Sometimes they're exactly the same, their screenshots. And really what you don't see as the user it's a screenshot on an email and all it is is a box for you to enter things, your account number whatnot.

Alec Hanson:
Yeah.

Billy Spears:
And then the transfer goes through, by the time the transfer hits and you realize it, they've already moved the money 17 times. It's really difficult if... Impossible to get it back. You're doing police reports and whatnot. You're calling LoanDepot. You're asking us to investigate. We are certainly willing to do that but there's not much we can do when it's a third party risk like that. So the best we can do is get in front of people and educate them that this is very real.

Alec Hanson:
Very real.

Billy Spears:
It's very, very serious. So we want to make sure that we take the right precautions so that you can just focus on the machine of originating loans.

Alec Hanson:
You know it's crazy and when I take some of our potential recruits through the metal lab and we go up and we look at the war room as I call it, but what do you call it?

Billy Spears:
We call it the security operations center. Yeah.

Alec Hanson:
So I call it the war room.

Billy Spears:
The mello command center. For sure.

Alec Hanson:
It's amazing. Right. So there's all these TVs and there's all this stuff but one of the things that always stands out for me is this, you've got the globe, if you will. And you have all these little pings coming in from other countries, and it's like thousands and thousands a day from certain countries, what are they doing?

Billy Spears:
So what they're doing is they're trying to get into our systems. So what we're looking real time is the threats around the globe. So what's interesting is how the social or economic factors adjust to those threats. For example, the president comes out and he says something that the globe doesn't agree with. We're going to start getting attacked from those places. They're not necessarily attacking LoanDepot. Instead what's happening is they're sending all these electronic pings to find vulnerabilities and when they do, they share that intelligence and exploit all those vulnerabilities at one time.

Alec Hanson:
What would be a vulnerability?

Billy Spears:
So you think about, like when you're on the freeway in the morning, and there's no traffic clear, you're just sailing to work. It's the best day ever. You probably know it's D-Day because that never happens in Southern California.

Alec Hanson:
No. No.

Billy Spears:
But let's assume it does for a second. Then we've done our job. So we have all of these right filters, we're blocking things out in the appropriate place and you're just clearly streaming along. Now attack would be, I'm going to send 5 million requests at your inbound port. That's a little nerdy, right? But it comes in all at one time and we don't know how to filter it out. So we call that a denial of service attack. And what happens is-

Alec Hanson:
They're trying to overload the system.

Billy Spears:
You got it. It clogs everything. Our firewalls will shut down. You won't be able to do business at all. You'll be like, "Hey, I can't do my job." And it's because we're being attacked.

Alec Hanson:
That's wild. I've even heard and I have no substance behind this, that there's been some mortgage companies that kind of got held hostage.

Billy Spears:
Ransomware.

Alec Hanson:
What is that about?

Billy Spears:
Ransomware is interesting. So this is the millennial sort of criminal.

Alec Hanson:
Yeah.

Billy Spears:
They're so lazy. They don't want to take your data. They just want you to pay to unlock your data. So your data actually never left. You just can't do business.

Alec Hanson:
They just locked you out.

Billy Spears:
They just lock you out. For sure. And they usually ask for little bits of money, but once you pay, it's going to escalate, right. Because they got in-

Alec Hanson:
Oh they know.

Billy Spears:
... they know how they got in. They can get back in again.

Alec Hanson:
They leave themselves a little door.

Billy Spears:
So it might be 5,000 now and then it grows into millions of dollars. You see it all over the news, different places, depending on how they're structured, they're either paying or not paying for these types of attacks. Once you start paying terrorists for things we go downhill very quickly. So we take some pretty serious actions at LoanDepot to prevent that from occurring and we're constantly testing sort of the resiliency of those plans to make sure that doesn't happen here. But again, it's the same as I told you before we need the help from not just the folks in the backend, but we need to get the message out to the front end. So people realize that it's little simple things that can be prevented. For example, just don't click the link if you don't know. We deploy a lot of technologies to help folks.

Alec Hanson:
Hold on. Okay. Let's just...

Billy Spears:
Unpacking.

Alec Hanson:
Let's talk about unpacking, like don't click the link. What damage can clicking a link really do?

Billy Spears:
Oh my gosh, these links have what we call payloads, right. And the payloads are meant to be destructive. So the minute you click a link, you don't realize it. You could be giving full visibility to everything on the computer to the bad guys simultaneously and not even realizing it.

Alec Hanson:
From one link, they-

Billy Spears:
From one link.

Alec Hanson:
... get full visibility into your computer?

Billy Spears:
Absolutely.

Alec Hanson:
How's that possible?

Billy Spears:
It's the payload that's in there. So it'll send a... It's an executable file, sends a signal back. Basically they connect in or remote connect in. Right. And they're in the background, just kind of watching what you're doing.

Alec Hanson:
So yeah. I want to just pause for a second, because for those of you that are familiar with great technology partnerships we have that LoanDepot where someone sends us a quick link and all of a sudden the IT guy is on their computer. Right? So you're telling me that there could be a bad actor who sends you some link about download your CD here and some loan officer's like, "Oh, you know..." And all of a sudden they're watching?

Billy Spears:
Absolutely. Or it can be a helpful IT guy. I mean, how many loan officers know all 300 IT people that we have. So if you don't know us, I mean, it's pretty easy for me to... Well, you guys probably know Alex, so it'd be hard for me to say I'm Alec. But I could be John Smith or whoever that is. Right. And I can call and say, "I'm John Smith. I got to do this update. I just want to take over your computer for a minute and I'll get it done for you. No worries. You guys go get a coffee or whatever." You come back and I've already downloaded your entire customer database.

Alec Hanson:
That is crazy. I see it. I mean, I can see that. Sales people don't realize this. We have a naivety. It's like, "Well, it's a link. Whatever. I close the window that opened up. I didn't mean to click it." But it could have serious consequences.

Billy Spears:
It does. And I think what's interesting here, just a kind of a fun fact.

Alec Hanson:
Yeah.

Billy Spears:
We run these anti-phishing simulations all the time. So if you guys don't know-

Alec Hanson:
Are you sending out phishing emails to try to trick the field?

Billy Spears:
We do. So-

Alec Hanson:
You do, don't you?

Billy Spears:
Stand by LoanDepot. We'll be phishing your cell phones here this year. So I'm giving you that advanced warning now.

Alec Hanson:
Okay. There's one of our clips for everybody. Yeah. We have our own team. Okay.

Billy Spears:
Yeah.

Alec Hanson:
Hold on. Is this like... I read something somewhere and this could be totally not correct, but like black hat, white hat, gray hat. Is that a thing?

Billy Spears:
That's a thing.

Alec Hanson:
Break that down. What's the...

Billy Spears:
So, simple. White hat. Good guys. Black hat, bad guys. Gray hat, confused guys.

Alec Hanson:
No, are they're really confused?

Billy Spears:
Yeah. I think-

Alec Hanson:
Or are they just playing in the middle?

Billy Spears:
You always have that sort of inner personality where some days you want to be great and some days you want to be a little nefarious and... Typically those are... The gray hats are the guys sort of playing both sides.

Alec Hanson:
Yeah. And so we wanted to play white hats to stop the black hats.

Billy Spears:
That's right.

Alec Hanson:
And some of them could be gray hats and you don't know.

Billy Spears:
It depends, there's a big conference once a year where the good guys get to become bad guys and we sort of get to play sort of the cops and robbers for lack of a better term. So-

Alec Hanson:
Try to break through the systems down.

Billy Spears:
More than that, we try to break everything. So we descend upon Las Vegas the first week in August every year and it's kind of summer camp for us because all of the theories that we talk about all year long, that's the one place where we actually get to break into cars and houses and technological systems and-

Alec Hanson:
I want to come to this.

Billy Spears:
You should.

Alec Hanson:
This is amazing.

Billy Spears:
That'd be great. Take the podcast on the road. You would really get a kick out of it.

Alec Hanson:
Oh my God. You just go in there and you just break stuff apart.

Billy Spears:
Yeah. two years ago we hacked into a Tesla. So that make you real comfortable as you're driving home at night.

Alec Hanson:
if you show up on my Tesla screen, I'm going to freak out. Like, "Hey, Alec."

Billy Spears:
That's all you need. "How are you?"

Alec Hanson:
"I'm your autopilot driver now. I'm taking over driving."

Billy Spears:
That's right.

Alec Hanson:
Oh my God. Okay. Let's not go there.

Billy Spears:
[crosstalk 00:35:33] my car.

Alec Hanson:
Okay. So what are you working on right now that you're excited about?

Billy Spears:
Yeah. We're excited about the transition of easing the customer experience. So I talked about passwordless authentication.

Alec Hanson:
Yep.

Billy Spears:
So we're moving from the sort of... the more rigorous mobile device management solution that we deployed a couple of years ago. We heard you, so that's important for everyone to know, and now we're moving to a mobile application management software. So instead of managing the device itself, we're going to be looking at just LoanDepot apps.

Alec Hanson:
Nice.

Billy Spears:
So we're not going to deploy things. We're not looking at your phone. None of that. It's simply the hook or the certificate, which is more important that authenticates your hardware into our backend and then that's going to open up all your access to everything else.

Alec Hanson:
Very cool.

Billy Spears:
So we're going to cross IT to consolidate and centralize, shift things over to the cloud, which simply means for the users, it's better agility to give you what you need and we have the scale necessary to evolve as the business shifts.

Alec Hanson:
That's fun.

Billy Spears:
That's really important for people.

Alec Hanson:
That's awesome.

Billy Spears:
Yeah. And then, so for us, we'll move to a better MFA platform.

Alec Hanson:
And what does means?

Billy Spears:
That six digit code you get when you log into your bank-

Alec Hanson:
Yes.

Billy Spears:
So we'll do it on your phone, which gives you a one button push because we like the stoplight mentality. And then once we get all that in place, we'll turn off the password and you truly will have passwordless authentication.

Alec Hanson:
Turn off the password.

Billy Spears:
That's right.

Alec Hanson:
I mean that's like music to my ears.

Billy Spears:
We're hoping to get there by early next year. If we can just convince everybody that this little bit of heartache that's going to happen over the next four or five months is worth it, we can get to the-

Alec Hanson:
All you have to say is you don't have to remember passwords anymore.

Billy Spears:
That's it. No one will. It'll be good.

Alec Hanson:
That's awesome. What else? Anything else fun you're working on?

Billy Spears:
We have dark trace. So you've seen that as you walked around our sort of command center for lack of a better term. Dark trace is cool. We've implemented that for you guys. It's artificial intelligence and machine learning. And what that product does is it kind of helps you prevent hurting yourself. So we look at all the normal traffic versus abnormal traffic across our network and if it's abnormal, we use threat feed and we have this cyber analyst now which kind of saves us on humans. We had a small team anyway, so it's not like we're going to grow to 4,000 people. So we're trying to use technology to mitigate the threats at the lowest possible denominator.

Alec Hanson:
And what are they trying to stop?

Billy Spears:
They stop all the bad guys from coming in. Coming in. Good things from getting out. If you start sending customer files 300 at a time or something, it's going to send you a note saying, are you sure you really want to do that? You might think that's a little wonky if you get that pop up, but it's serious. So if you're not sure, just give us a call. We're happy to answer your phone or answer our phone, take your calls and let you know that there's probably a different way to do that. We're also on the email side. So we're looking at emails today. We've just launched this product a couple of weeks ago. So hopefully all of you have seen the benefit of getting less phishing email or spam in your boxes. We're down about 80% and continue to-

Alec Hanson:
How does it tell?

Billy Spears:
It looks at a whole bunch of indicators across the email. Things that humans can't see.

Alec Hanson:
Got it.

Billy Spears:
So when you're looking at a link, there's actually metadata inside that email that the computer can see a whole lot faster. So the technology reads that and it shifts it off to a quarantine state. Right now everything's going in your junk box. So we didn't take anything away. So if there is a legitimate emails-

Alec Hanson:
It'd be in there.

Billy Spears:
... or whatnot. It's in there, it gives you guys an opportunity to pull it back in your inbox and let us know, we'll continue configuring but by the end of March our goal is to go live. We'll quarantine. You'll never get those emails again. We have about a 98% effective rate so far.

Alec Hanson:
Do you have a secret to stop spam emails?

Billy Spears:
Yeah, don't open emails.

Alec Hanson:
Okay.

Billy Spears:
Stops them from-

Alec Hanson:
We get thousands of emails a day.

Billy Spears:
We do. Yeah.

Alec Hanson:
How do we deal with this?

Billy Spears:
So there are a couple of different kinds of spam, right?

Alec Hanson:
Yup.

Billy Spears:
So we have the bad actor spam we've been talking about a lot of phishing and whatnot. So we're taking some steps to stop that or prevent that from occurring. And then you have your business partners that are spamming you. Some of you signed up for them, you've been to these conferences, you dropped your business card in a hat, whatever. And that's kind of on you guys, right?

Alec Hanson:
Yup.

Billy Spears:
So the idea there is we've given you a link in your browser and it basically gives you a choice. Is this junk, not junk, phishing, whatever. And the more often you click that there's artificial intelligence that drives behind that too. So you need to click the same thing a couple of times, and then it'll automatically start filtering those things into other folders.

Alec Hanson:
I don't think people know that. That's pretty cool.

Billy Spears:
Yeah. It's pretty cool.

Alec Hanson:
I didn't know that.

Billy Spears:
Now you do. It's great.

Alec Hanson:
Yeah.

Billy Spears:
We have a whole website too. It's for those of you, you can get to inside LD, go to the information security website. It says I is. So if you have a question about what is go there and then all this stuff is built out. We've spent for the last 10 years building collateral to help you. How two guys' job [crosstalk 00:39:55]-

Alec Hanson:
Hold on. You're asking sales people to go read stuff, man.

Billy Spears:
No, it's pictures. We made it pictures. We don't want you to read anything. So very, very much pictures but finding my numbers is great.

Alec Hanson:
Oh I appreciate you. Okay, so we're kind of... I know this has been hyper helpful for people that don't understand this business side of our business, which is really cool and I'm sure that people are getting really good insight out of this. For the salespeople out there running around what tips, tricks, best practices, heads up. We kind of unpacked that. If you click a link and how damaging that can be-

Billy Spears:
Sure.

Alec Hanson:
... as an example. What should they be paying attention to so that they don't hurt themselves or their company?

Billy Spears:
So the first thing let's talk about as an individual work towards a company, right?

Alec Hanson:
Yeah.

Billy Spears:
As an individual, you guys should all have Microsoft Authenticator. If you don't have it, go download it. It's a simple app. You install it. It's 30 seconds. And what it does is gives you a second layer of protection for things like Yahoo, Gmail, your social media accounts, your bank account, all those other things. Because if someone does get your password and I can promise you if you're ever in Southern California, stop by my office and I'll show you how easy it is to show you your password. Right.

Alec Hanson:
Wait, wait, wait, how?

Billy Spears:
Ah man that will cost you lunch, but I'll show you. It's fun. Very quickly.

Alec Hanson:
Is that easy?

Billy Spears:
Yeah.

Alec Hanson:
To get someone's password.

Billy Spears:
It's really quick and easy. Think about all the other breaches that you have in the market today. For example, I was reading this morning T-Mobile had this sort of email compromised just this morning.

Alec Hanson:
Really?

Billy Spears:
So it's a very large thing. And what they did is they got the customers and the employees, username and passwords, and that's sent out. Right. And so the idea behind that is if they get that and you don't have a second factor or another layer, then they're in your account. You don't even realize it.

Alec Hanson:
So that's Microsoft authenticator?

Billy Spears:
Yeah. That's what we use. It's free. It's easy to install. It's really really cool.

Alec Hanson:
It adds another layer of protection.

Billy Spears:
It's another layer of protection. It gives you that automatic six digit code. Once you route it in it's seamless, you can remember yourself. It pings off of your phone or wherever that code is or the cloud, it'll let you through no big deal. The only pain is the first time you log in. The first time [crosstalk 00:41:49]-

Alec Hanson:
You got to set it all up.

Billy Spears:
Yeah. Just getting in the code, takes 30, 45 seconds, but it gets you the layer, even myself. So I got one yesterday in my Yahoo account that someone was trying to login from Pakistan. I thought that was interesting because I'm not there, but it stopped him because my second layer of protection hit me on the phone and said, are you there? I was like, "No." Locked out.

Alec Hanson:
Definitely not there.

Billy Spears:
So it's pretty cool. And you don't have to worry about your passwords as much because they are compromised. We tell them all the time.

Alec Hanson:
I think that's a point people don't realize.

Billy Spears:
Yeah, and most people here's another good rhythm. You guys are using the same passwords at LoanDepot that you use in other places and when those [crosstalk 00:42:19] place-

Alec Hanson:
No. No. We're not.

Billy Spears:
Hey, [inaudible 00:42:21]-

Alec Hanson:
No. No. No. It's the same password or a variation with like another exclamation point. Like that's every single person in the world.

Billy Spears:
You got it. And people aren't using license plates anymore, it's pretty crazy. So you're using them when they get compromised, they go right into the domain or where you work or whatnot and they're looking for that sort of highly valuable data.

Alec Hanson:
Okay. So what else? So individual is use Microsoft Authenticator.

Billy Spears:
So MFA. Get some point of in-point protection. So when you get these high powered computers, make sure you're having some protection on there. So again, you can use Microsoft Defender, that's free. There's other products that have free versions for personal use. In the company we have our own that we pay for on our products. If you're dialing in through Citrix or some other method, remember that the machine itself still needs to be updated, not just the virtualized machine that you're working off of because that piece of hardware still contains a lot of buggy things, changes all the time. So do that.
Second thing is, or sort of the last thing. Number three is make sure if you're unaware of something that you're calling somebody. Shoot us an email. It's not always call the service desk. Get ahold of someone that you know here. Send us an email at [email protected]

Alec Hanson:
Just though to check.

Billy Spears:
Yeah. Just let us know and we can help you, even if you're having some... and I'll cautiously say this, but even if you're having some personal issues where you're not sure. We get it all the time from loan officers, "Hey, my kid did this or my spouse did that." Dude, we'll check for you. We are here for you. We talk about our customer and delighting them all the time. You're my customer. So it's my job to delight all of you.

Alec Hanson:
Well, but on the flip side, if you're not responsible in this area, you can cause so much harm to the customer you're trying to delight.

Billy Spears:
Absolutely.

Alec Hanson:
Without meaning to.

Billy Spears:
True.

Alec Hanson:
And that to me is the biggest tragedy of this stuff because we're trying to help people. And then if we're lazy or we're complacent, or we don't think about this kind of stuff and the next thing you know, we've hurt our customers.

Billy Spears:
Yeah. And it only takes one. I mean, we say it all the time. It is not... You hear terms like FUD, fear, uncertainty, and doubt. That's not our sort of position. What we're trying to do is help you understand that it only takes one bad action to take down our entire network. So we have tons of professionals, super, super smart people behind the scenes, keeping this thing up and running. But we just need a little help, a little wisdom, a little bit of foresight from you guys and we can go a long way together.

Alec Hanson:
So last question.

Billy Spears:
Sure.

Alec Hanson:
Which we can have multiple answers to. So I'm not saying this is over. Where's this all going? Where's cybersecurity going? Like, what's the future of this crazy cyber world?

Billy Spears:
Yeah. It's becoming the world. But that's-

Alec Hanson:
That's very good to us.

Billy Spears:
... by force or by choice we are moving into a virtualized environment. You see everybody doing with disruption, right?

Alec Hanson:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Billy Spears:
You had this manual processes. Now everything's online. You don't even go to stores anymore.

Alec Hanson:
Nope.

Billy Spears:
You're buying stuff from your phone. Like you got to stand in the store. You're like, "What?" Even your cars are driving themselves.

Alec Hanson:
Yup.

Billy Spears:
We are just dependent on data. So you're going to need cybersecurity in everything you do when you connect a new device or a piece of technology into a network and your houses networked. So that's the other thing. Any then got Netflix or any of these smart TVs.

Alec Hanson:
Of course.

Billy Spears:
That's connected to your credit card. I don't know if I want to tell it to the audience.

Alec Hanson:
Yeah, [crosstalk 00:45:25]. Tell it.

Billy Spears:
But it's really cool if you-

Alec Hanson:
Say it.

Billy Spears:
So if you go out into your audience and you put in one 192.168.1.1 some weird screen is going to show up and that's your personal router. And those of you who haven't changed the backend password, I'm going to tell you what your password is. It's admin as the username and password is the password. So you go log that in, and now you're into all your neighbors. Now I'm into your Netflix. Now I'm into [crosstalk 00:45:47]-

Alec Hanson:
I don't know if that's okay but that's incredible. You're right. You're right. Because there's that backdoor.

Billy Spears:
You got it.

Alec Hanson:
And people don't even think about it.

Billy Spears:
No, because you just changed the password inside the house. You're like smiley 1 or guest 2 or whatever. And that's cool. That keeps the-

Alec Hanson:
Password 12345.

Billy Spears:
Yeah. You got it. Whatever works for you, but you got to remember that there's the backend side. And if you're not protecting the backend, your entire ecosystem is interconnected and people are getting in. And it's very scary things. You can get into your cameras and whatnot. Now you've got people-

Alec Hanson:
Dude somebody can be sitting outside your house and jump on your wifi and get in there.

Billy Spears:
Yeah, now they're in your cameras and they're watching your kids. How about that?

Alec Hanson:
You made it real creepy.

Billy Spears:
That's super scary.

Alec Hanson:
You made it real... Yeah.

Billy Spears:
Right. I'm not trying to make it creepy. I'm just trying to make it reasonable for people to understand that listen, very real things can happen just by ignorance.

Alec Hanson:
We live in such a sheltered world.

Billy Spears:
Yeah.

Alec Hanson:
We just put the blinders on a little bit.

Billy Spears:
Yeah. You got it.

Alec Hanson:
We also get distracted. So I'm not going to just say we're all dumb and blind, but we were working. We're busy. There's lots of stress on our lives in sales.

Billy Spears:
That's right.

Alec Hanson:
And right now in this interest rate environment, there's tons of stress on us. Not only to respond to the influx of customers, but just when we build a pipeline like this, it's stressful. So yeah. I mean, we're not thinking about it.

Billy Spears:
You got it. So I think a couple of precautions, right.

Alec Hanson:
Okay.

Billy Spears:
Friend your neighborhood cyber professional.

Alec Hanson:
I love that. That's...

Billy Spears:
Thank your IT professionals that are around building all these new features to enhance your lives. And when you see folks, remember that we're working 24/7 behind the scenes to make sure your lives get better, easier, faster. And when we have a little bit of a mistake, what we ask for is the same as you ask your customers, if the pipeline slows down, we're getting to you as fast as we can. It's never the intent. For the cybersecurity, we kind of branded ourselves a little different because it's not about the people. So we have the mello cyber squad sort of behind the scenes.

Alec Hanson:
We love that.

Billy Spears:
We like to brand it as best squad only we get things done. So that's a good thing for you guys. So if you have a problem, [email protected], we will come running, we'll get you through the pipeline. We'll help you and we want to get you back up and running as fast as possible.

Alec Hanson:
So Billy, this has been a cool session for me because I think it's nothing that normal people talk about in my world. We're always on the sales and social media and branding. And then this is just like, "Oh no, whatever the real defenders doing behind the scenes in the dark stopping the bad actor." So I super appreciate your times, super appreciate everything you do. And so Modern Lending podcasters, we are closing it up. Remember this gives you value. Like, subscribe, share the message. I appreciate you guys. We are out. Have a great day.


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