How to Avoid Increased Risk from Phishing Attacks

Reports of cybercriminals registering suspicious domains after the Silicon Valley Bank shutdown indicate potential coordinated campaigns to trick account holders and users across industries, including tech, life sciences, and investment firms. Learn how to avoid these phishing attacks.


What is a common indicator of a phishing attempt


Since the news about Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) dropped, much of the focus has been on how the shutdown happened and the implications for the industry and the economy at large. However, amidst the worry about the impacts lies another danger—the risk of increased cyber-attacks, particularly from phishing attempts and other social engineering. Of course, it is essential always to remain vigilant, but bad actors often take advantage of opportunities like this to ramp up their efforts.

A sudden change in business procedures can create a vulnerable window of opportunity for cybercriminals to launch malicious campaigns. As we’ve seen with other incidents, attackers have taken advantage of any vulnerabilities arising from the disruption to perpetrate attacks on other companies.

It has been reported that cybercriminals have been registering suspicious domains after the Silicon Valley Bank shutdown that can be used in coordinated campaigns to trick end-users into sharing sensitive information.

With this in mind, organizations must remain extra vigilant for phishing attempts and other social engineering tactics during times of uncertainty that cybercriminals can exploit.

How to Avoid Phishing Attacks?

Here are some tips to help your firm avoid phishing attacks:

  • Expect an increase in phishing, social engineering, and phone calls and email attempts to gain access to your data and accounts.
  • Attackers will use language to appeal to your emotions. For example, click this now, urgent, your money is running out, etc.
  • Finance teams must carefully verify and validate any account changes or new account requests.
  • Implement multifactor authentication if your organization does not already employ it.
  • Ensure that employees are aware of the increased risk and ensure they can recognize social engineering and phishing attempts.
  • Follow up with a regular training program for end-users to ensure employees are always ready to identify the latest tactics utilized by cyber attackers.

What is a common indicator of a phishing attempt?

  • Here are some of the usual signs of an email phishing attempt. Often phishing schemes will include several of these markers.
  • An email sent from an address that does not match the domain associated with the sender. For example, if you receive an email from someone claiming to be from SVB but with a different domain name in the “from” field, this should be a red flag.
  • Emails with misspelled words and grammatical or syntax errors could also signal a malicious attempt.
  • Emails that include links or attachments should be carefully scrutinized. It is always best to err on the side of caution and not click links or open attachments until you can confirm that they are from a trusted source.
  • Unsolicited emails that ask for or direct you to a link or document asking for personally identifying information (PII) like passwords, wire transfer details, login credentials, or other sensitive data should be treated with extreme caution.
  • Finally, if an email contains a sense of urgency, includes offers of immediate assistance, or requests payment now, this could be a sign of a phishing attempt. Again, be sure to take the time to independently verify the request before taking any action.

If you encounter any of these signs, it is best to flag the email and alert your IT department immediately. Taking precautions to protect yourself from phishing attempts is critical in safeguarding your company’s data.

Related Content: Why are Phishing Emails so Dangerous, and How Can You Spot Them?

It is essential to remain vigilant when there is heightened risk from cyber criminals taking advantage of a highly volatile situation like SVB’s recent closure. By following best practices such as implementing multifactor authentication, conducting end-user training, and relying on a multilayered cybersecurity program, you can protect your business from cyber criminals looking to take advantage of the uncertainty during this and the next inciting incident.

What is Enterprise Data Governance?

Data is the new currency in today’s business climate, and data governance ensures that your company has a secure and organized system for managing this invaluable asset.

Corporate data governance is how an organization manages, analyzes, and leverages data to make business decisions. At its core, business-led data governance combines people, processes, and technology to create and execute standards that ensure data within an organization is accessible, usable, consistent, reliable, and secure.

Good Data Governance

Key Takeaways:

  • Data governance combines people, processes, and technology to establish standards that ensure the accessibility, usability, accuracy, trustworthiness, and protection of data in a business.
  • Data management is the storing, maintaining, protecting, and analysis of data that functions under the policies and procedures dictated by data governance.
  • A data-driven enterprise’s policies and governance principles should ensure all company information is under control and used effectively.

What is a Data Governance Program?

A data governance program is one step toward digital transformation that combines people, processes, and technology. The primary goal is to guarantee reliable access to data so it can be effectively leveraged. To support these goals, the governance team manages user access and ensuring that enterprise stakeholders have what they need, when they need it. In addition, the goal of a control program is to protect from data loss, corruption, inaccuracies, and unauthorized access.

Related Content → What is Governance, Risk, and Compliance?

How Does Data Governance Fit into Data Management?

Data governance is a method for managing the roles, responsibilities, and processes of data assets, while data management is the operation concerned with the quality and accessibility of data. Data management includes the storing, maintaining, safeguarding, and analyzing of data that follows the policies and protocols put in place by governance. If data management comprises the tactics, then data governance encompasses the strategy. One comes before the other.

Related Content → Learn more about Data Management.

What are the Key Components of Data Governance?

People, Processes, and Technology

  • People
    It is critical to understand that data authority is not just IT’s domain. It should include people throughout an organization in the data management plan, including executives, IT professionals, and various other stakeholders within the enterprise familiar with relevant data structures. Having key people involved increases buy-in from end-users and increases the likelihood of leveraging the organization’s data. Organizations typically staff data managers and other IT pros to execute hands-on implementation. Some organizations include Chief Data Officers as part of their C-suite to play the lead advocate for their data governance program. Additionally, businesses will often create a committee with representatives from different areas of the organization. It is through this body that enterprise collaboration comes into play.
  • Process
    In data governance, the process is where the work happens. Thus, governance processes are the connective tissue within the practice of governance. From establishing, implementing, and evaluating policies and procedures to measuring and reporting, applying the governance protocol combines a series of careful steps designed to support the organization’s mission and goals.
  •  Technology
    Finally, if people are the who and process is the what, then technology is the how. Technology provides the tools and the infrastructure to support an organization’s data program through maintaining accessibility, security, reliability, quality, and more.

Good Data Governance Program Process

Why is a Good Data Governance Program Necessary?

  1. Improve Efficiencies, Reduce Costs, and Increase Revenue
    A primary goal of data governance is to eliminate data silos that can occur in an organization. When data silos build up, they can inhibit the flow of information and make sharing knowledge difficult. It is a collaborative process that recognizes the value of data. It aims to break down barriers by harmonizing data within an organization through the collaboration and coordination of enterprise data architecture implementation. Ideally, this process will lead to competitive advantages and increased revenue and profits.
  2. Increase Compliance and Reduce Risk
    Another goal is to ensure that data is compliant. That can be accomplished by creating uniform policies and procedures to monitor usage and include enforcement to eliminate risk from data loss and other issues. In addition, data governance can help to strike a balance between data collection practices and privacy mandates.

Data Governance Simplified

On the whole, data governance is the practice of securely managing data so an organization has the business intelligence needed to meet targets and fulfill business goals. A data-driven enterprise’s policies and governance principles should ensure all company information is under control and used effectively.

DOWNLOAD OUR GUIDEBest Practices for Enterprise Data Governance

Data Solutions

Coretelligent partners with a multitude of technology partners to provide next-gen cloud-based file sharing and collaboration. Building upon this foundation, Coretelligent adds its experience, know-how, and support to offer powerful controls for data management. Our approach allows your enterprise to maintain simplicity and usability for your workforce. Providing guidance and support is just part of what we at Coretelligent offer our clients.

Coretelligent’s solutions include IT planning, 24/7/365 support, cloud computing, cybersecurity, disaster recovery readiness, and more. Connect with us to learn how we can assist you with your data governance or other technology solutions.

As a C-level executive in the financial services industry, you are constantly looking for ways to optimize your firm’s operations, achieve strategic goals, and reduce risk. Governance, risk management, and compliance (GRC) can help you do just that.

GRC is a framework designed to help organizations align their objectives with risk management and compliance policies.

What is governance risk and compliance?


In today’s highly regulated business environment, organizations need to have a comprehensive GRC system that enables them to manage their risks effectively, comply with regulations and laws, and meet the needs of their stakeholders. Let’s explore why organizations need effective GRC and how it can help them achieve their strategic goals.

What is GRC?

GRC comprises three key components to align policies, reduce risk, and ensure compliance.

Governance is the process of developing and adhering to policies, procedures, and practices that support an organization in meeting its business objectives. An effective governance system helps ensure that the organization makes decisions aligned with business goals. In addition, by establishing effective governance, organizations can ensure that their plans are being implemented effectively and have the necessary structures, processes, and systems in place.

Risk Management is the process of identifying, assessing, and mitigating risks associated with operations within the firm or from external threats the firm faces. An effective risk management program will help identify potential risks early so that they can be addressed before they become significant issues.

Compliance is the adherence to mandated internal and external standards, regulations, and best practices that must be met for a firm to operate responsibly and fulfill legal obligations. Good compliance requires an effective combination of policies, procedures, training, monitoring, and corrective action.

Why Does My Firm Need a GRC Program?

Financial services firms are under tremendous pressure from increased regulations, heightened scrutiny from investors, clients, and other stakeholders, and rising security risks. However, according to Hyperproof, 65% of businesses still manage IT risks using an “ad-hoc, reactive approach, with siloed processes and disconnected tools.”

A robust GRC response can benefit these firms by helping them address expanding regulations, control risk across all business units, reduce the cost associated with audits and due diligence questions (DDQs), improve compliance processes, and streamline reporting requirements.

Related Content → IT Security and Compliance. What’s the Difference?

By combining these three components into one unified system—GRC—firms can benefit from a variety of outcomes, including:

  • Improved efficiency across departments
  • Increased visibility into compliance requirements
  • Reduced costs through streamlining processes
  • Better identification of potential risks
  • Streamlined reporting
  • Better decision making
  • Enhanced stakeholder confidence
  • Strengthened brand reputation
  • Improved organizational agility
  • Amplified data security and privacy protection

By bringing governance policies and procedures, risk management, and compliance programs together, firms can swiftly adapt and adjust as needed while remaining compliant with all applicable regulations and internal best practices. Moreover, with integrated GRC—it will become easier for executives to confidently navigate today’s complex world of risk analysis and regulatory compliance more successfully.

Solving GRC

In the past, GRC organizations implemented GRC as distinct activities. Processes and systems were created in silos and often in response to a specific trigger—like new regulations, security incidents, or audit findings – without integration throughout the company. The approach created a web of inefficiencies, redundancies, and inaccuracies that left businesses vulnerable to fines and penalties, lawsuits, reputational damage, and even loss of revenue.

In today’s world of increased risks and shifting compliance, it is of the utmost importance to implement a GRC solution that creates an effective foundation for recognizing, assessing, and controlling risks. In addition, organizations must remain continuously vigilant and responsive to the ever-evolving risk and compliance environments with ongoing monitoring, support, and guidance.

GRC tools should also reinforce and streamline your policies, procedures, and processes. Given the complexity of the financial services industry, many firms are choosing an IT partner with domain expertise and one that provides strategic guidance and know-how in addition to a technology platform.

DOWNLOAD → Read more about the must-have elements of a GRC platform and IT partner in Understanding Governance, Risk Management, and Compliance for Financial Services.

Business team and digital transformation consultants talking, How to Prepare for Digital Transformation overlayed in white text with Coretelligent logo in bottom left

If you read our 5 Digital Transformation Success Factors article, you already know that accepting digital transformation as a holistic change is a first step toward success. Even if the need stems from one department, recognizing the ramifications outside of departmental bubbles is key. By taking on digital transformation, you need to be comfortable with and prepared for a total culture shift. Now that you know what success factors contribute to the best digital transformation implementations, it’s time to uncover how to achieve those successes for your own organization.

Important steps to prepare for a successful digital transformation project:

Business team and digital transformation consultants discussing how to prepare for digital transformation


Identify Pain Points

Digital transformation does not mean buying new tech and hoping for the best. Strategic planning is required to ensure your digital transformation solution has successful, wide-reaching impact that helps departments work together. To achieve success, you must consider what those impacts may be and how further opportunities can enhance your business processes. This takes careful consideration and strategic planning.

If you are at the point of undertaking a digital transformation, you probably already know your pain points and needs. But if you have ever lost your glasses only to find them on your face, you know it can be easy to miss things that are right in front of you. A digital transformation consultant can help you gain an objective understanding of your business landscape and determine best how to address your needs. But a helpful first step is to begin listening your teams, customers, and competitor’s clients to prepare your discovery. Here are some suggestions:

  • Listen to your teams: Your team is what makes your business run, so knowing what is or is not allowing them to perform at their peak is critical to your overall success. What are the challenges your team encounters most frequently? What issues are having the most detrimental impact? Are certain processes particularly problematic? Are certain tools constantly failing?
  • Listen to your customers: No business can stay alive without customers, so ensuring their needs are not just met but exceeded is vital. Are your prospects able to easily engage with your products or services? Are you able to quickly react to issues and requests? Are you retaining existing customers? How do you reach them? If via a website or app, are they user friendly? Do prospective customers or existing clients have reason to question how you are collecting or storing their sensitive, personal information? Are you in compliance? How seamless are your transactions? Can you streamline processes such as onboarding or payments?
  • Listen to your competitor’s customers: You undoubtedly have a pulse on what’s happening with your competitors, but this sleuthing can also help you improve and plan your digital transformation. Read their customer reviews and identify common praise and complaints. What are they able to deliver that you don’t? What are they unable to deliver that you could do better? Research your competitors, learn from their mistakes, and see how you can solve their pain points to fix your own.

Take Stock of Your Team—and Your Clients

User adoption is critical to digital transformation success, so evaluating the skillset of your team is an essential step towards that goal. Now that you have listened to the needs of your people, it’s time to step back and evaluate their capabilities. Think about the skills of your team members; are they capable of implementing the changes you need, or will you need to bring in experts? How much training will each department require? How much training will your end users need? Will some customers require accommodation, such as more in-depth training or even retention of traditional processes, to offset steep learning curves? While you won’t have solutions to these questions yet, it’s important to keep them top-of-mind as you prepare for digital transformation. Which is why you must…

Plan Your Communication and Curriculum

Springing new tech on teams may be exciting, but not everyone will have Christmas morning elation. Be prepared for some team members to need more education than others and make accommodations for trainings. Consider training modalities like webinars or knowledge base articles to help support user adoption. The same goes for clients who are accustomed to your platforms.

Additionally, some members may find it difficult to transition away from old habits, which is why early communication is key to prepare employees (or customers) for change. Set realistic goals for transitioning to new working environments and methods, and ensure you factor those deadlines into your project timeline. And be open to feedback. Understanding what is and is not working will help you make enhancements or adjustments that will improve efficiency in the long run. A digital transformation consultant should have training modules baked into their strategy. They will help you navigate how to introduce new working methods to team members, train teams on new tech, and provide resource documentation to help guide the process.

“One of the big roles of leaders [during a digital transformation] is to create a safe, supporting environment where people are able to learn.”

Kristine Dery, Research Scientist at MIT Center for Information Systems Research
How to Nurture a Digital Workforce

Audit your tech

Take stock of the technology that you use. You may be surprised to find that services you already use can be integrated for a more robust solution or include tools that serve your unmet needs. What’s more, you may find tech that you are paying for but not utilizing, or duplicates of the same tools across multiple departments. A good digital transformation consultant will take a deep dive into your IT infrastructure ahead of a digital transformation engagement, but having a basic starting point is a good practice, even if you have an idea of the services or platforms you want to use to modernize your operations.

Consider Your Timeline and Budget

Next, consider your timelines. How urgent is your need? How quickly can your teams realistically adapt to change? Additionally, how massive is the change you are undertaking? Don’t bank on overnight results that are unachievable. Consider working in phases to keep progress at a steady pace without being overwhelming.

Also consider how much you want to invest and what makes sense for your organization. What already exists in your tech stack? What features do you really need? Do you have the right, or enough, people in place to support your initiatives? This can include leveraging ongoing support for managed services versus hiring a whole team.

How a digital transformation consultant can help you prepare for digital transformation:

Partnering with a digital transformation consultant can help you identify your pain points, devise an effective roadmap, and put together a comprehensive action plan that fits within your budget. Coretelligent’s digital transformation solutions, CoreDTS, are crafted to match the business goals of clients, pinpoint any challenges they are facing, and construct technology-driven solutions customized to meet their needs. Using agile methodology, our build-and-operate approach keeps projects running smoothly while managing costs and maintaining clear expectations for tasks. From development to deployment, to maintenance and enhancements, our clients are fully supported throughout their journey. To learn more about how we can help you on your digital transformation journey, contact one of our experts today.

Serious person working on laptop holding papers, 5 Signs Your Business Needs Digital Transformation overlayed in white text with Coretelligent logo in bottom left

Digital transformation is no longer a luxury for businesses—it’s an absolute necessity. Organizations that fail to invest in digital technology and transform their operations risk becoming obsolete in the ever-evolving business landscape. But how do you know when your company needs to make the switch? We break down the top five signs your business needs digital transformation.

Five signs that you could benefit from digital transformation services and solutions:

Serious person working on laptop holding papers representing the signs your business needs digital transformation services and solutions


Your Productivity Stinks

Issue: Manual operations and outdated processes are inhibiting progress.

An effective, efficient team is critical to your bottom line. If your workforce struggles to meet deadlines, fulfill requests, or hit targets, it is time to address the roadblocks hindering their success. One of the biggest signs your business needs digital transformation is likely the most obvious: overreliance on analog operations.  Analog operations, such as paper document management or manual data entry, are some of the biggest culprits of lost time and data errors. Clunky, multi-step processes that rely on disparate, disconnected systems can also slow down performance. And accessibility issues—from remote office workers struggling to connect to on-premise servers, to personnel in the field unable to access or view information on the road—can negatively impact productivity by inhibiting secure collaboration.

These digital transformation solutions and services can modernize existing processes, streamline operations, and automate manual tasks for improved efficiency:

  • Workflow Automation
  • Data Integration
  • API Integration
  • Data Visualization
  • Application Development

You Aren’t Making Data-Driven Decisions

Issue: Lack of proper data management bars you from gaining insights.

Data is being captured at an astronomical pace that is growing every day. But no matter how many data points you collect, if you don’t have a way to properly store and synthesize that data, you simply cannot make fact-based, data-driven decisions. Common data management pain points include overwhelming amounts of data that are impossible to manage; data coming in from different sources that require consolidation; discrepancies in data and reporting; too much time list to report generation; and the inability to access historical data for trend analysis.  An effective data management system can help you store, organize, and analyze your data, and provide you with an information-rich resource to enable data-driven decision making.

Data management services that can help you gain actionable insights include:

  • Analytics Services
  • Data Integration
  • Dashboards, Reporting & Visualization
  • ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) Services
  • Data Warehousing and Data Lakes
  • Data Quality
  • Data Governance
  • Database Administration

Related Content → Read about Coretelligent’s data analytics, data management, and business intelligence solutions → Data Management from Coretelligent

Your Competition is Winning

Issue: User delight is down, impacting customer retention and acquisition

If you are trailing behind your competition, chances are digital transformation can help in a variety of ways. Most directly, digital transformation services and solutions can provide an easier, more accessible way for prospects to connect with your products and services, while also helping to build trust with existing customers. Additionally, lost opportunities due to poor data management and the inability to act quickly to user demands can negatively impact your bottom line.

Digital transformation services that can have direct customer impact include:

  • UI/UX Services
  • Web Development and Enhancements
  • Application Development
  • API Integration

“The point of digital transformation isn’t to become digital.
It’s actually to generate value for the business.”
Rodney Zemmel, McKinsey & Company

You Are Losing Money

Issue: Maintaining the status quo is becoming a financial burden

Operational expenses will always be part of doing business, but an allegiance to your legacy tech or resistance to upgrading your operational processes could literally cost you. Switching from manual to digitized processes can come with obvious savings, from reduced on-premise server maintenance costs to decreased spending on physical document management. But you may be surprised at how much you are losing on legacy tech and existing systems that can be upgraded with cheaper, more effective tools or revamped to serve you better.

How digital transformation services and solutions helped reduce costs for a leasing client:

  • Coretelligent’s digital transformation services team, CoreDTS, helped a financial services client slash the bill of a popular CRM by creating an API in their web application that called on the same data using a different method. This change reduced the number of licenses required to access the data and in turn lowered their subscription cost. Finding unleveraged tools within your existing platforms, such as MS 365, or missing integration opportunities are big areas where money—and time—can be saved.

Related Content → Read about Coretelligent’s Workflow Automation Solutions

Your Business Has Changed

Issue: You need to adapt to your new normal

Has your company switched to a hybrid or remote workplace? Have you undergone a fundamental business transformation, like a merger or acquisition? Has your footprint expanded to include new divisions or locations? If any of these situations are familiar, you must adapt to your changing business needs. This includes ensuring remote workforces can continue operations smoothly and securely; ensuring data from merged businesses is strategically consolidated and leveraged; and that your business is prepared for growth and the increased level of data, security, and compliance that may be required.

Key areas of business transformation opportunity can be found in these digital transformation solution sets:

  • Data Management, Analytics, and Business Intelligence
  • Workflow Automation
  • Compliant Infrastructure
  • Emerging Technology

Digital transformation is an essential part of successful business operations. Now that you know the signs your business needs digital transformation, you can take a more proactive approach. By investing in modernizing your organization and embracing technology, you can stay ahead of the competition and continue to remain profitable. Make sure to assess your current systems and processes regularly and invest in new technologies as needed so that you can remain competitive in today’s marketplace. And if any of the signs listed above are present at your company, it may be time to consider leveraging digital transformation services and solutions.

To jumpstart your optimization journey, connect with Coretelligent’s team of digital transformation experts and get started on your path to success.

SOX Compliance Requirements

As cyberattacks increase and intensify, the hardening of security measures becomes even more of a necessity, as does compliance with a network of requirements and regulations, including SOX compliance.

SOX Compliance Requirements

What Is SOX Compliance?

First passed in 2002, the Sarbanes Oxley Act (SOX) requires publicly-traded companies to maintain transparency in financial reporting, preventing fraudulent accounting activities, protecting investors, and improving investor confidence.

The Act includes compliance requirements about external auditors, corporate governance, internal control assessments, and financial disclosures.

SOX IT Compliance Requirements and Reporting

When it comes to IT, SOX compliance requires firms to have policies and procedures in place to prevent, detect, and disclose material cybersecurity risks and incidents. Companies also need to prove that they have data safeguards and procedures in place and that they are operational. This includes quality access management, preventative security measures, and redundant and secure backups.

Additionally, another requirement is that security systems must be able to detect data breaches, and the organization needs a communication plan for notifying leadership and investors of identified breaches. In reporting and during an annual SOX compliance audit, businesses must attest to and provide evidence that these internal controls exist.

One extremely challenging SOX cybersecurity requirement is that businesses are responsible for reporting material cybersecurity risks within four business days after the registrant determines that it has experienced a material cybersecurity incident. This can mean that an organization must disclose a risk or incident before regular reporting or a yearly SOX audit.

Related Content → IT Security and Compliance. What’s the Difference?

SOX in 2023

In both 2011 and 2018, the SEC published guidance for interpreting existing rules in connection with cybersecurity threats and incidents.

However, in 2022, the SEC recommended a proposed rule that would require registrants to provide enhanced disclosures about “cybersecurity incidents and cybersecurity risk management, strategy, and governance.” This rule is part of the Fall 2022 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions released by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. SEC Chair Gary Gensler released a statement in early 2023 acknowledging the Commission’s support of the proposed agenda.

It is significant to note that SOX requires signing officer(s), typically an Executive Officer, to attest that the information in their internal control and financial reports is accurate. They cannot contain any false statements, nor can they omit material information. They also need documentation demonstrating that the organization is SOX compliant. Intentionally or inadvertently generating misleading compliance reports or falsifying information not only leads to noncompliance but can also result in upwards of $5 million in fines and 20 years in prison.

In 2022, the news that Uber’s CISO was convicted of federal charges for failing to disclose a 2016 data breach broke, demonstrating just how severe the consequences of non-compliance can be for individuals as well as companies.

Understanding Risks and Their Impact

How do you know what your material cybersecurity risks and incidents are? How do you know if your firm has experienced a breach?

If your IT team does not have the expertise to continuously analyze risks and understand SOX compliance requirements, they may not see correlations that signify a material risk. Without expert guidance, your firm may miss the context or severity of threats. Businesses may not report minor security incidents deeming them to be immaterial. But what if all these smaller threats and incidents turn out to be a much larger problem? Unable to see the connection between events, an organization could unintentionally omit a material cybersecurity risk in its reporting.

Even worse, failure to evaluate the risk appropriately can lead to security breaches, data loss, lawsuits, and other costly damages.

With such high penalties for failure to appropriately disclose material cybersecurity risks and incidents, it is critical for businesses to implement compliance processes and risk management practices to identify and assess threats across their network. Identified risks need to be assessed and treated appropriately and promptly. This process of assessing and implementing measures to modify risk is known as risk treatment.

To understand the risks in your firm’s environment, it needs continuous network monitoring and the expertise and systems for evaluating and conducting a risk assessment. Partnering with an IT firm with specialized knowledge of the compliance requirements outlined in SOX is ideal to ensure compliance and improve your security posture.

Actively Monitoring for Cybersecurity Threats

There is a difference between performance monitoring and cybersecurity monitoring.

Performance monitoring lets you know if systems are operating efficiently, but it doesn’t tell you what security threats exist or the severity of those risks.

In 2023, the risks from malicious cyberattacks and technology are substantial and are a constant threat. It is no longer acceptable to run occasional cybersecurity scans and assume you are seeing an accurate picture of your overall security posture. Instead, to have a complete understanding of the risks and incidents that occur on your network, you need 24x7x365 activity monitoring.

With a managed detection and response (MDR) platform, a team of security analysts with skills in forensic analysis can identify, evaluate, and provide a response plan to threats and breaches within your network.

SIEM Technology

Without the help of security analysts and security information and event management (SIEM) technology, you may not see the significant link between small risks or incidents.

Security experts use SIEM platforms to correlate and analyze threats. This helps to provide context and severity of risks, which is instrumental in determining materiality.

Keep in mind that you need a security expert to utilize the full benefits of these types of internal security controls.

Meeting SOX Compliance Requirements with Comprehensive Cybersecurity

As mentioned, to maintain SOX compliance, your organization needs to be able to measure the materiality of cybersecurity risks and incidents.

Without the right tools, expertise, and testing, your business could experience a breach causing tremendous financial costs, permanent data loss, or even closure.

Even if your organization is not required to be SOX compliant, implementing internal controls and data protection procedures increases your overall security posture. For a private company or a non-profit, which are not mandated to have SOX compliance programs, creating and monitoring security controls is considered to be a cybersecurity best practice.

Related Content →  Evaluate your security readiness with our  Cybersecurity Checklist.

To learn more about SOX cybersecurity and compliance solutions, reach out to Coretelligent’s team of experts.

Financial Services Compliance

Financial services compliance is a dynamic target with extreme consequences for non-compliance. For financial services firms, there is absolutely no room for error. Firms must remain vigilant to ensure they meet their obligations under a growing set of laws, regulations, and standards.

The Intersection of Financial Services Compliance & Technology

Financial Services Compliance

Compliance is not a new problem in the world of financial services. While compliance reporting may have been more manual in the past, the extreme complexity of the compliance and security issues facing these firms today makes manual processes technically impossible to maintain. Instead, to address the growing complexity and risk, firms must replace the check-box approach to compliance, reporting, and security and with a robust compliance platform and verticalized advisory services.

Each of the security measures and compliance requirements put in place by various regulatory agencies is designed to support the stability of the global economy and protect the privacy rights of consumers. Additionally, the exponential growth of third-party relationships has led to the need to provide improved management to reduce risk exposure. However, abiding by the precise reporting and data management requirements of each entity obligates financial services firms to implement complex frameworks that are costly and time-consuming. But non-compliance also comes with harsh consequences, including fines and penalties, sanctions, reputational loss, lost revenue, and more.

The Compliance Landscape for Financial Services

Highlighted below are several of the most critical regulations and standards that must be met by the financial services sector:


The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is an independent organization that helps investors and firms by serving as the first line of oversight for the brokerage community. FINRA rules are aimed at ensuring a safe and fair market, with general standards that are continually being updated based on changes to the global marketplace. FINRA regulations are generally focused on complex cybersecurity themes to protect against cyber intrusions, detect compromises to digital systems, and create a business continuity and breach plans.

  • SEC

Financial firms must adhere to regulations set forth by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The SEC promotes fairness, transparency, efficiency, and compliance of all publicly-traded companies in the U.S. Financial firms are required to comply with the SEC’s Financial Reporting Requirements, which include annual and quarterly reporting as well as other periodic filings. Financial firms must also adhere to SEC governance and risk management standards, such as cyber risk policies, identity theft prevention plans, data security processes, insider trading safeguards, and more.

The SEC Chair, Gary Gensler, recently expressed his support of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs Fall 2022 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions, saying the agenda “reflects the need to modernize our ruleset, moving deliberately to update our rules in light of ever-changing technologies.”

  • SOX

First passed in 2002, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) was established to protect individuals by increasing transparency in the financial services sector and requiring formalized checks and balances for individual entities. In today’s world, SOX compliance is aimed at limiting access to internal systems that contain confidential or financial data. Fortunately, SOX internal controls are also solid business practices that can enhance your firm’s cybersecurity risk profile and reduce the threat of insider attacks.

  • Due Diligence Requests (DDQ)

Compliance with investor due diligence requests (DDQs) has become more and more complex as the Financial Services industry grows. DDQs typically involve detailed information about financial operations, accounting practices, and related risk factors. While responding to these inquiries can be a difficult process, it’s necessary in order to maintain regulatory compliance and ultimately build trust with investors. Financial services firms need to develop a reliable system for tracking and responding to DDQs quickly and accurately, as well as an audit trail of the communication process to prove compliance.

  • Cybersecurity Insurance

Cyber insurance carriers have expanded their compliance requirements and increased their schedule of audits to ensure that firms have robust controls in place. These audits assess security protocols, policies and procedures, disaster recovery plans, and more. Financial services firms must plan ahead for these inspections by having the right personnel prepared with well-documented processes and systems to prove compliance. Additionally, firms should have an external cybersecurity partner who can provide executive-level support to ensure the audit is successful.

Cybersecurity & Compliance: What’s the Difference?

Security and compliance are often mistakenly assumed to be synonymous, yet they are, in fact, distinct. Security and compliance are both essential, yet their purposes vary. While security is meant to protect data and infrastructure, compliance serves as a means of meeting legal or regulatory obligations, often which are around cybersecurity.

Compliance and security have similar objectives around managing risks and securing sensitive data and systems but have different processes and workflows to accomplish these goals. Put simply, compliance is the act of meeting contractual or third-party regulatory requirements by adhering to set guidelines and standards. On the other hand, security requires implementing effective technical controls in order to safeguard assets from cyber attacks.

Both are critical for the financial services sector.

Solving Compliance Now & Into the Future

In 2023, regulations are expected to become even more stringent and expansive as regulatory bodies and other organizations respond to increasing risks. Financial services firms must stay up-to-date on relevant regulations and have the right IT infrastructure, personnel, and external partners in place to ensure compliance and protection. Financial Services firms must also develop reliable systems for responding to DDQs quickly and accurately, as well as do what is required to maintain robust cyber insurance policies. With the right measures in place, financial services firms can ensure compliance and mitigate risk.

Understanding the evolving world of IT compliance for financial services firms is an ongoing conversation, not a one-time decision. Learn more about the compliance obstacles facing the financial services sector by downloading Coretelligent’s complimentary whitepaper: How Financial Services Firms Can Manage Compliance.


What you need to know about cyber insurance requirements with image of shield and technology and coretelligent logo

The average cost of a data breach in 2022 in the U.S. reached a new all-time high of $9.44 million, according to IBM. With this continued rise in cybersecurity incidents, financial services firms are a popular target for cyberattacks.

However, obtaining cyber insurance can help mitigate these attacks’ financial burden. Now more than ever, financial services firms are strongly encouraged to get cyber insurance due to the intensifying threat landscape and increasingly complex requirements from regulatory bodies or authorities such as the SEC and FINRA.

Because of these developments, many businesses have turned to managed service providers (MSPs) for their expertise to manage cyber insurance compliance.

Cyber Insurance ComplianceWhat is Cyber Insurance Compliance?

Cyber insurance helps to mitigate or lessen the financial burdens from a data breach or other cybersecurity incident should your business fall victim. Still, as more and more companies file claims, the cost of cybersecurity insurance continues to rise. Premiums increased 79% in the second quarter of 2022 alone.

As the cost and frequency of cyberattacks increase, cyber insurance companies are forced to cover more payouts which causes a premium increase across the industry. Along with this premium increase, insurers also implement increasingly more stringent minimum security requirements for applicants for cyber insurance coverage.

Previously many of these requirements were simple checkbox practices you could complete once and forget; now, insurance companies are shifting to an active monitoring approach. This includes conducting periodic scans of your cybersecurity systems to ensure you maintain the required standards for coverage. If your external cyber footprint strays from secure standards, you expose yourself to a risk of adjusted premiums or a complete loss of coverage.

Benefits of Partnering with an MSP

Due to this active monitoring approach, many financial services firms are partnering with the experts at an MSP for guidance and maintenance of their internal and external cybersecurity environments that adhere to the insurance requirements.

Partnering with an MSP can provide additional benefits to firms, too.

  • Access to industry expertise and knowledge

As with the financial services industry overall, there is no one-size-fits-all for insurance coverage. Internal and external security posture and cybersecurity practices play a big role in deciding required insurance minimums so working directly with an MSP can help you become a better candidate for cyber insurance coverage at a lower premium. MSPs help ensure you have the proper cybersecurity and data protections before applying to improve your chances of approval for coverage. In fact, in many cases, an MSP has established relationships with preferred cyber insurance providers that benefit their clients.

  • Compliance as a Service and Cyber Insurance

With compliance as a service (CaaS) products, a Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) platform is included with your service. This platform allows organizations to track, manage, and report on compliance related to industry-specific laws and data security standards. This is integral should you experience a data breach or other cyber incident. When filing your claim, proof of a business’s compliance is often required at the time of the incident, or you will be denied—utilizing compliance as a service product makes obtaining this proof much more straightforward. Access to a GRC and assistance filing a claim from your MSP through these services save you time when it matters most.

Streamlining the Requirements of Cyber Insurance

Gone are the days of simple checkbox requirements for obtaining cyber insurance. Companies must adhere to more stringent requirements in today’s market to obtain and maintain their policies. Working with an IT partner to gain cyber insurance coverage has many distinct advantages. MSPs aid you with the application process, help you obtain coverage at lower premiums through established vendor relationships, and help you maintain coverage by ensuring your company remains in compliance with your policy and other outside regulatory entities. Should you become the victim of a data breach or other attack, MSPs can also help you complete claims forms and provide appropriate documentation to your provider when submitting your claim.

Next Steps

The cyber insurance market and models will continue to evolve. With compliance assurance and engineering excellence, the professionals at Coretelligent are helping financial services organizations find the path forward. A partnership with Coretelligent can help financial services firms establish themselves as insurance candidates, lower premiums, and mitigate overall risk.

Learn more about CoreComply, Coretelligent’s full compliance solution that streamlines and enables compliance, third-party risk management, DDQ, and cyber insurance audits.





What is cyber hygiene and cyber hygiene best practices?

Cyber HygieneWhat is Cyber Hygiene?

The consistent implementation of cybersecurity best practices to ensure the security and handling of your networks and critical data is what is known as cyber hygiene. Coretelligent will be sharing information and resources to help you fortify your cyber hygiene and keep your business safe from  threats.

7 Cyber Hygiene Best Practices

We have put together a list of cybersecurity tips as a quick introduction to persuade your team to assess your firm’s current security readiness from a cyber attack.

  1. Double (or triple) up on login protection.

    Enable multi-factor authentication (MFA) across your organization for all accounts and devices to ensure that only authorized users gain access to your secure data. CISA’s Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) How-to-Guide is a good resource for more information.

  2. Shake up your password protocol.

    According to the NIST guidance, users should consider using the longest password or passphrase permissible. Encourage end-users to switch up passwords across applications, accounts, and websites. Using unique, strong passwords can make it more difficult for cybercriminals to gain access and protect your organization in the event of a breach.

    A password manager and online password generator can be employed to generate and for remembering different, complex passwords. Another solution is to employ SSO to control passwords centrally and avoid user password sprawl across various platforms, which can lead to poor password choices, reuse, and insecure safekeeping.

  3. If you connect, you must protect.

    Whether it’s a laptop, smartphone, or another networked device, the best defense against viruses and malware attacks is to perform updates on a regular basis to verify that the latest software updates get applied to your software, browser, and operating systems.

    A plan that includes the automatic security update is a critical layer of security and part of a multi-layered defense strategy.

  4. Don’t get hooked.

    Cybercriminals use phishing tactics, hoping to fool their victims. So, if you’re unsure who an email is from—even if the details appear accurate— or if the email looks phishy, do not respond, and do not click on any attachments or suspicious links in emails.

    Instead, report the phishing attempt to help your IT team and email provider block other suspicious fake emails before they arrive in your inbox. In addition, the use of random phishing simulations is a valuable exercise to help end-users spot phishing attempts.

  5. Beware of social engineering traps.

    Many people don’t realize that many of the posts seen on social media asking for seemingly random details are created by criminal networks. They use these posts to gather data that can be mined for potential passwords and other secure information.

    For example, posts like, “What car do you wish you still had?” or “Tag your childhood best friend” can be used to help criminals work out the answers to your security questions.

    Not only can these tactics impact personal data but are used to target employees in order to gain access to corporate networks. Read CISA’s Social Media Cybersecurity Tip Sheet for more information about good social media and cybersecurity practices.

  6. Don’t forget about mobile.

    Most connected Internet of Things devices are supported by mobile applications. Mobile devices are often filled with suspicious apps running in the background, or using default permissions users never realized they approved, which are gathering personal information and login credentials without the user being aware.

    A robust cybersecurity posture should include a plan for protecting data from employees using compromised mobile devices to access to corporate networks.

  7. Stay protected while connected.

    Using Virtual Private Network (VPN) for employees remotely connecting is the best way to protect networks. A VPN creates a secure connection that encrypts information so that it’s hidden as it travels. This connection makes it harder for attackers to see and access data.

    VPNs are essential when accessing sensitive data like personally identifiable information (like social security numbers) or protected health information, especially when using public wi-fi networks. In today’s hybrid workplace, VPNs are a must to protect against suspicious activity.

From a phishing attack to a ransomware attack, cyber threats are constantly evolving. If you are unsure whether your firm employs good cybersecurity hygiene best practices or not, then it may be time for a security check-up.

Remember, cybercriminals will use any security vulnerabilities they can find to gain access and steal data. You can start with these cybersecurity tips and move on to using our free Cybersecurity Checklist to review your security measures.


Coretelligent is here to help with advice from our cybersecurity experts. Protect your business and learn more about our enhanced managed cybersecurity services designed specifically for small-to-mid-sized companies. Reduce your risk from security incidents – contact us today for help responding to your cybersecurity gaps.

What is HIPAA compliance?

what is HIPAA compliance

Healthcare businesses face mounting regulation these days. But ask any healthcare provider, “What is HIPAA?” and they will certainly tell you it’s the most important regulation of all. But what is HIPAA compliance?

Understanding HIPAA and how to adhere to it is vital to not only healthcare providers but to those who support them, including IT providers of cloud-based tools, storage media, and hardware.


What is HIPAA Compliance?

HIPAA, short for the U.S. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, is a federal act that enforces specific laws and regulations to safeguard the privacy and security of patient data, also known as protected health information or PHI.

HIPAA compliance refers to the implementation of specific security, privacy, and operational measures required to protect sensitive patient health data. This includes an array of actions and oversight that must adhere to specific federal regulations, including secure storage, transaction, and disposal of patient data, safeguards against data breaches and unauthorized disclosure, and data encryption.

Who needs to understand HIPAA?

The meaning of HIPAA compliance must be understood by several market segments:

  • Healthcare Providers
    Healthcare providers must understand the meaning of HIPAA compliance and be equipped to properly manage PHI, including medical records, financial information, and personal identifying information (PII). Healthcare providers that violate HIPAA rules and work outside of HIPAA compliance are at risk of fines and penalties.
  • Patients
    Patients benefit from having a basic understanding of the meaning of HIPAA. Awareness of how healthcare providers are required to treat their information allows patients to be equipped to advocate for their rights and be alert for dubious practices.
  • Insurers
    In addition to doctors and healthcare facilities, health insurance providers must also adhere to HIPAA, since handling PHI is also part of their daily operations. Medicare and Medicaid providers, employer-sponsored health plans, and organizations managing private insurance sales must all be aware of HIPAA requirements.
  • Information technology (IT) providers
    Two major provisions of HIPAA have to do with information: the HIPAA Privacy Rule and the HIPAA Security Rule. In a nutshell, these rules govern how patient information should be handled and how it should be kept safe. IT providers must be aware of both rules since it will fall to them to create and maintain secure infrastructure for digital PHI.

  Related Content – Therapeutics Company Benefits from Compliant Infrastructure Case Study

How does IT impact compliance?

HIPAA and IT connect on two major points of HIPAA regulation, information handling and information security. Here’s how:

  • HIPAA compliance requires dedicated personnel.
    Here, “dedicated” calls for a specific person in the organization to be directly responsible for putting policies in place for HIPAA compliance. An enterprise organization may hire a privacy officer specifically to oversee these requirements while a small doctor’s office may appoint an office manager to manage requirements; each approach is valid and must consider the needs and capacity of the business.
  • HIPAA requires a basic strategy.
    One of the key points that dedicated personnel will be responsible for is HIPAA compliance strategy. That person will subsequently work with IT providers to establish the framework for security and compliance operations.
  • HIPAA demands basic security principles.
    IT providers must take special care to understand the HIPAA requirements for security and privacy of PHI. While security appliances and antivirus tools will be useful, this is just a beginning. Policies like Unique User Authentication and access control are critical. The IT provider working with the dedicated HIPAA officer will offer further recommendations accordingly.
  • Don’t forget disasters.
    One key component of HIPAA compliance planning is creating a disaster recovery plan. Healthcare providers must have such a plan in place that allows PHI to be continuously available, even during a disaster. Disaster recovery plans offer benefits beyond  compliance, including cost savings and improved customer experience.
  • Test and assess.
    Once a disaster recovery plan is in place, testing and assessment will be required to ensure it delivers as promised. As security needs change, and new threats emerge, the disaster recovery plan will continue to evolve. Thus, staging new plans, and testing these routinely, is crucial to the ultimate success of HIPAA compliance.

Some Miscellaneous Points About HIPAA Compliance

  • Basic requirements
    HIPAA requires a standardized format for all stored data, whether it’s health, financial, or administrative. Each healthcare entity needs a unique identifier, though an ID number will work.
  • HIPAA Compliance Best Practices
    HIPAA contains a set of best practices that mandates HIPAA compliance as part of its Security Rule. Though these standards cover a lot of ground, sticking to them will ensure the clearest path to compliance.

Need HIPAA Compliance help?

There’s no way around it: HIPAA compliance is a massive undertaking, but Coretelligent can help you through the labyrinth of HIPAA requirements, rules, and regulations. Get in touch with us to learn how Coretelligent can help you establish security principles, address compliance issues, and generate disaster recovery plans and systems.