In 2018, nearly twenty percent of investment and wealth management firms were victims of cyber-attacks. Though many investment firms rarely have access to their clients’ wealth itself, they hold a treasure trove of private information and data for many wealthy clients. A criminal can turn that information into a high payout, while also causing these firms to lose the trust and confidence of their clients.
Cybersecurity is becoming more important than ever as business operations rely more and more heavily on computers to do most of the heavy lifting. Financial calculators, market analysis, and wealth management all relies on one program or another these days, and each access creates a point of vulnerability for a criminal to exploit. One unfortunate download of a ransomware virus could result in the loss of millions of dollars, or the end of a firm’s business entirely if they’re unable to recover their clients’ data.
Of course, since a wealth management firm’s systems are rarely accessed by clients, they’re a bit more secure than a bank’s might be, but that’s no reason for lax security. Most firms that have reported a cyber-attack lost client data in the process, stolen to be sold to the highest bidder.
Cybersecurity is more than just slapping a number on the end of a password and downloading an antivirus program, of course. It involves regular network and data monitoring, secure system backups, multi-factor authentication and training to learn how to spot scams and phishing attempts. The most common method of intrusion is a careless employee giving a scammer a commonly used password, which also grants them access to a business’s network, so it’s important that everyone accessing a system knows what to watch out for.
With this in mind, it’s hard to keep up with all of the security measures necessary and still manage a business. If a firm doesn’t have a dedicated IT department, an MSP is the next best thing, and is a much more affordable solution for smaller firms who might not otherwise have the resources to manage their own cybersecurity. Managing the wealth of dozens or even hundreds of clients is a feat in itself, so it’s important to keep it secure so all that effort isn’t wasted.