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Cyber Security Preparedness is No Longer Just a Best Practice

Think the SEC is kidding about Cyber Security audits and exams? They’re not! In yet another case, the SEC brought action against a broker dealer this month for failing to exhibit reasonable cyber security procedures to protect its’ clients data. On April 12th, the SEC announced cease and desist proceedings against a broker-dealer firm as well as two of its principals for its “failure to adopt written policies and procedures reasonably designed to ensure the security and confidentiality of customer records and information.” The firm settled for paying a $100,000 fine while both principals paid fines of $25,000 each.

Read this article for a full list of transgressions that the SEC found unacceptable. Are you guilty of any of the same practices?

Cyber Security attacks and compliance mandates are only going to get stronger and more important to your Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) firm. The SEC released survey results last year indicating that 88% of broker-dealers and 74% of financial advisers acknowledged having experienced cyber-attacks, either directly or through one or more of their vendors. According to a study by Websense, financial services firms are hit by security incidents a staggering 300 times more frequently than businesses in other industries. And if you need more proof, Symantec recently released a study indicating that cyber thieves have been increasingly targeting small businesses over the last four years, so much so that cyber security is now a top priority for the House Committee on Small Business. More and more government agencies are getting involved. There were hearings on the dangers of cyber-attacks on small businesses just last week.

So, what are you waiting for?

For the past year we have been sharing valuable information on how RIA firms can better prepare themselves when it comes to cyber security – getting the CEO to own cyber security within the organization, understanding how to comply with SEC cyber security guidelines, and training your employees on how to protect the firm and identify any cyber breaches quickly.

And yet we are still disheartened by the number of RIA firms not stepping up to their responsibilities. We know all of the information out there about cyber security can be overwhelming and it’s hard to decide what actions to take first. But, we have worked hard to develop solutions like Total AdvisorSecure™ and the newly launched AdvisorGuard™, designed specifically for RIA firms, to alleviate that stress. These two solutions give you the tools, data, and controls needed to protect your firm’s reputation and your clients’ valuable data, comply with the SEC’s cyber security exams, and avoid devastating fines.

Cyber Security preparedness for your firm is not just a “best practice” to address when you have time.

There’s no need to panic, but there is a need to take action.

We have been protecting our RIA clients from cyber-attacks and providing them the tools to be prepared for the SEC Cyber Security Exams and now we would like to give you that same peace of mind.

Please take the time to read the following information and then give us a call at 224-563-3602 to see how we can help you better protect your firm from cyber attacks and comply with the SEC’s Cyber Security Exams.

5 Things RIA Firm CEOs Need to Know About Cyber Security
Understanding the 6 Areas of Focus for the SEC Cyber Security Exams
Cyber Security Is Not a Technology Issue
3 Ways to Keep Your RIA Firm Cyber Secure When Employees Travel
Valuable Cyber Security and Compliance Tips for RIA Firms
The SEC Wants Your Firm to Be Cyber Secure