What Can You Do As a Financial Management Firm to Secure Your Clients Data?

Due to the coronavirus pandemic cyber attacks are increasing in number and scale which pose a threat to all financal services firms. The change to remote working has led to the need to re-evaluate existing risks and controls.

Unfortunately, every modern business can become a victim of cybercrime. Cybercriminals are always looking for new ways to target their victims by finding vulnerabilities within computer networks. Whether through the use of spyware, identity theft, or simply deceiving people, cybercrime is a particular threat for financial service firms.

Thankfully, awareness of these risks is increasing, and many businesses have put in place processes and systems to avoid becoming victims of a cyberattacks.

However, you simply can’t rest on your laurels. Whilst plenty of financial firms have insurance to cover financial damages, cybercrime can cost businesses more than just their money. Reputational damage and the erosion of trust and confidentiality built between the client and the firm over many years just don’t bear thinking about.

So, what can you do as a financial planning firm to raise your cybersecurity game and meet your regulatory responsibilites?


Knowledge is power

Beyond complex viruses and spyware, cybercriminals often use social engineering techniques to trick their victims into providing personal information and handing over money. Indeed, studies suggest that 52% of companies believe their own employees are the biggest threat to their operational security.

For businesses, having knowledgeable and empowered personnel is the first line of defence against cybercrime. But to build such a culture, effective regulations and processes are essential.

Ensuring employees understand and have the skills required to implement the right processes to fight against cybercrime is essential to keeping your firm and its clients protected.

Ensuring that all employees have a basic understanding of best and worst practices, is the best place to start. This could be as simple as regularly changing passwords and ensuring that no one uses the same password for multiple accounts.

But it of course extends to cyber awareness outside the four walls of your business. If, like so many firms these days, you have people working from home, they’ll need the right knowledge and tools to ensure that client data is protected from malicious attacks in that environment, too.


Does software and technology overrule human judgement?

Technology and software solutions are amazing when it comes to finding and solving potential cybersecurity issues before they arise – providing the business implements them correctly.

Unfortunately, cybercriminals will still exploit any weakness they find within a system. Just because a firm has the latest software running doesn’t mean that they are completely covered and protected against a cyberattack.

Effective cybersecurity is more than a technological issue or a matter of running the most recent security software.

It’s why you need a strong, engaged, and highly experienced IT support partner to be with you every step of the way. They’ll know how to implement cyber defences, but also how to ensure they’re kept up-to-date and made to work cohesively with internal processes and procedures.

When it comes to cybersecurity, this really isn’t something you can – or should – do alone.


Overall evaluation

There are several options for reducing a company’s exposure to cybercrime. However, to do so effectively, businesses must first understand the threats they face.

There are lots of unforeseen events that could cause a security breach. Remember – we’re all human at the end of the day. However, a distracted or inexperienced employee has a higher chance of making these mistakes, and, equally, this might happen when a system is configured incorrectly.

To maintain a strategic approach to technology and security, financial planning firms must have the necessary knowledge and oversight. Software and human actions need to work side by side. Employees need to grasp the basics of how to protect themselves and the business online, while the software works as an invaluable, automated barrier for the companies’ cyber defences.

But you will need some help. So, if you’d like to talk through your own cybersecurity set up, or have any questions about the points raised in this blog, just get in touch with the Compex IT team, today.