Creating a secure infrastructure is important for any business, but there are special considerations when you’re supporting a wealth management office or other financial institution. Security must be ironclad anytime you’re collecting and storing sensitive client information to be used in your business. A recent study by the Ponemon Institute shows that financial businesses and healthcare organizations are the hardest hit by the wave of recent cyberattacks, as criminals look for ways to mine the rich stores of personal information that can be found within these businesses. From user education to cyber insurance, here are a few of the cybersecurity best practices that you will need to protect your organization.
User Education and Training
Many business professionals are surprised to learn that more than 27% of breaches are caused by human error, which often stems from poor password security or a lack of formalized training. You can reduce the potential of user errors when your firm engages in holistic training that builds staff awareness of the dangers associated with business security and the cybersecurity tactics that will help to avoid them. Cybersecurity threats are changing rapidly, making it crucial that you schedule ongoing training that teaches users how to spot potential threats and the appropriate responses.
Email Security and Encryption
Putting a robust email security platform in place is no longer an option — it’s a necessity. With 90% of malware delivered via an email, users must always be alert to the potential of spoofed or forged emails. Active defense mechanisms may help protect against spam, phishing emails and malicious attachments, but user awareness remains a critical success factor. This includes putting policies in place against placing any sensitive client or personal data such as Social Security numbers, banking codes, account numbers and credit card information into emails.
Protection Against New Threats
Any financial services organization must be ready to quickly pivot to adjust to the changing threat landscape. Your technology partners should be continually scanning the environment to ensure that any weak points are effectively shored up, starting with the implementation of Next Generation Antivirus (NGAV) software. Deploying these aggressive cybersecurity measures can help protect your corporate workstations and servers, as well as provide alerts for any suspicious activities that may occur.
Vendor and 3rd Party Firm Audits
Working with external organizations can be the weak point in your security, especially if their cybersecurity posture is not as aggressive as that adopted by your organization. Ensure that any partners or 3rd party vendors employ a robust arsenal of cybersecurity protections, at least equal to those in your organization. They should also have plans in place for regular review of their security in light of advances in the field.
Cyber Insurance Coverage
A security breach or data loss can be extraordinarily expensive, especially for organizations that capture, store and manage personal financial information. Cyber insurance coverage can help protect your organization in the event of an attack, reducing the overwhelming burden of sanctions, notifications to customers and remediation that can be part of any type of cybersecurity breach.
Formalized Policies, Processes and Workflows
A key part of maintaining an aggressive security posture includes formalizing policies, processes and workflows within your organization. It’s all too easy for training to be forgotten in the bustle of daily work, but formalized policies help keep this important task top of mind. The same is true of high-risk activities such as wire transfer of funds or other financial transactions. It is vital that financial organizations follow best practices for the storage and transmission of account numbers and credit cards or other personally identifiable information such as birth dates and Social Security numbers.
Web Presence and Social Networks
Social media accounts provide a great deal of information for would-be attackers, much more than many individuals realize. Encourage staff members to segregate personal and professional social media activities, and refrain from discussing business or posting information online that could be utilized in the event of a cyberattack.
From user security to protecting your organization from malware and data breach, wealth management offices face unprecedented challenges in today’s complex world of data and integrations. Ensure that your organization is fully protected with aggressive cybersecurity measures as well as active monitoring when you work with the professionals at Coretelligent. Contact us today at 855-841-5888 or visit us online to see how we provide our partners and their clients with an exceptional level of protection against these ever-changing threats.
Article Written By: Chris Messer, CTO of Coretelligent
Click here to see Chris present an expert educational session at the Family Office and Private Wealth Management Forum in Newport, RI , July 22-24, 2019.