The call to arms in response to cyberattacks is getting louder. Firms are used to getting pinged on a constant basis by potential cyberscams. But according to Associate Editor Andrew Welsch, who wrote this month's cover story, the industry faces an evolving threat.
Broker-dealers and advisors, as our cover story points out, are up against hackers who in some cases may even have ties to organized crime.
"These are organized groups with multiple lines of business, and they view cyberattacks and online fraud as a lucrative business," says Andy Zolper of Raymond James.
Zolper and other IT execs are out to educate advisors on the specific threats. Many are on their guard. But there also are wealth managers still wondering what phishing and malware are. If you're one of them, you may want to contact your cybersecurity officer right away. You'll find you're not alone in your concern to protect yourself and your clients.
Welsch reports advisors are increasingly asking questions about how to defend against electronic attacks.
"Five years ago, advisors would never have called me to ask about our firm's cybersecurity," Zolper tells Welsch. "Today it's much more common. They're calling because they are concerned, or they are anticipating questions from clients. Awareness is absolutely building."
Advisors need to stay one step ahead of the threat. Whether it's in the form of a virus that infects your computer, or a security loophole that allows cyberthieves to steal the information off your smartphone, experts warn you need to be vigilant and you need to have a plan.
Advisors at the wirehouses and regional broker-dealers still rely on the home office for cybersecurity measures. That doesn't mean they have no responsibility. Welsch says advisors play a key role in protecting their data and practices, and that they have to get it right.
- Cybercrime Threatens Your Clients -- How Will You Protect Them?
- White House Pushes Industry on Cyberthreat Data Sharing
- 6 Steps to Defend Against Cyberattacks
- Data Breach? Don't Make This Mistake