Broker Check

Tips to Prevent a Cyberattack

November 28, 2018

A consistent rise in the number of cyberattacks and data breaches taking place in the investment industry has many financial advisors asking if they are doing all they can to keep their firms safe. It’s more important than ever to implement a proactive approach to cybersecurity.

To start the process of protecting your practice and clients from a cyberattack, take these vital steps right away:

Train and educate your staff
Education is one of the most cost-effective methods of preventing a cyberattack. Employee training can significantly reduce the number of cyber-hacks and incidents. Make sure you and your employers are educated about the warning signs of cyberattacks, safe practices and the proper way to respond to a cyberattack.

Encrypt your data
All desktop computers, laptops and personal information stored in databases must be encrypted. Keep information safe by turning on the full-disk encryption tools that are included with most operating systems.

Keep your software updated
Hackers live for outdated computers without the latest security updates. Protect your practice by installing and regularly updating antivirus software that detects and blocks phishing emails, spyware, botnets and harmful malware. 

Never click a link provided in email
Never click on links or pop-ups, open suspicious attachments or respond to emails from strangers. Doing so may expose your computer to a virus that can contaminate your system and open the door for a hacker to steal information or upload malware. 

Identify emailphishing scams
Dating back to the 1990s, phishing scams are one of the oldest types of cyberattacks, and they’re still one of the most widespread. Phishing starts with emails that appear official but are fake. The goal is to trick you into entering your password or opening an infected website. The easiest way to avoid phishing email scams is to open only emails and websites you know and trust.

Create strong passwords
Creating strong passwords is important. A strong password combines numbers, symbols and other factors to ensure it is safe and secure. Don’t use the same password for multiple sites and make it a habit to change your passwords frequently. 

Hire a cybersecurity analyst
Sometimes even the most proactive measures are not enough. The best way to discover any holes or security risks in your practice is to hire a cybersecurity analyst. An expert analyst’s services may not be cheap, but they’re a wise investment when compared to the cost of a data breach. A data breach will likely cost much more than money. It could negatively impact your reputation and erode client trust.

Be aware of threats
Data breaches are inevitable. But waiting for a breach to occur before formulating a plan is a recipe for failure. While it’s impossible to protect against every cybersecurity scenario, you can increase security by simply staying aware of the latest threats.

Take precautions today to protect your practice from a cyberattack, because tomorrow may be too late.

If you would like to learn more ways to protect your practice and clients from a cyberattack, contact Iron Point today for a no-obligation coaching call.