NEFA & the Impact of Equifax

In early October, Leasepath had the distinct pleasure of visiting Atlanta and taking part in the annual funding symposium hosted by the National Equipment Finance Association, or NEFA. It was an opportunity for us to connect with clients and learn more about the state of the industry from the people that are in the weeds. Some of our best ideas for new features come from the chats over cocktails that gatherings like this afford.

A major topic of conversation was the fallout of the security breach of Equifax. While the attack took place in April, the public did not learn about the hack until this past July, and the damage is still being assessed. What we are certain of is that over 145 million people had their most valuable private information made available to the highest bidder.

Equifax highlights the need to evaluate and re-evaluate the vulnerabilities of our systems and processes. There are anecdotal accounts within Equifax that there were opportunities to address key flaws before a situation became critical, but for one reason or another nothing happened. Complacency is often our biggest enemy when it comes to properly managing and protecting our data.

But it’s not all doom and gloom; all we have to do is adjust our thinking! The financial services industry is historically quite slow when adapting to new technology, but we’re starting to see more and more interest from firms looking to protect themselves and learn new ways to do business in the process. Luckily, implementing a CRM and origination program like Leasepath serves to make doing business quicker, more efficient, and more insulated from risk.

Data security experts and technology think-tanks like Gartner Research generally agree that one can only be so safe investing in hardware and infrastructure. After all, new techniques are being developed all the time to get around the most powerful security measures! Rather, the smart money is on facilitating a balance between the need to protect information and to achieve your business goals. Business leaders can do that by looking to the cloud and becoming people-centric.

Historically, cloud-based infrastructure has been the solution for organizations looking to reduce the cost to maintain infrastructure, potentially at the risk of depressed security. Today, the same principle that made cloud computing cost effective now makes it more secure. Smart companies have realized that with so much sensitive data housed in their environments, they must be good stewards and protect their flock. Leasepath is a CRM and loan origination solution built on Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales, and Microsoft has famously spent more than $1 billion per year on network and cloud security measures, making their environment among the most secure in the world.

Once a partner has been chosen, the business owner must look to adjust the internal procedures to ensure that data is taken care of on their end. It doesn’t matter if you buy a massive vault if you’re still making your cash deliveries to the bank via a bike messenger with a satchel. For the data to remain secure, it must live in the secure environment. That’s where a CRM system comes in.

By implementing a CRM system integrated with your accounting program of choice, data can live in your secure environment while remaining accessible by any user with the appropriate security roles. Details and communications with clients are tracked and available for immediate recall or even for analytics to identify areas of growth within an organization. Leasepath has taken these ideas a step further, and introduced single-click document generation, automated credit bureau requests, and multi-tier decision making among other features specific to the lease and loan industry. Features like these help business owners change internal procedures that ultimately make their business more efficient and safer at the same time.

By exploring a system such as Leasepath and using cloud providers like Microsoft, it’s easy to see how a company can become sleeker, more focused on their customers, and empowered to grow without sacrificing security. To learn more about changing your procedures to become faster, more efficient, and safer, reach out to us at Leasepath and see how a CRM and origination system can grow your business.