Protecting their personal information, much of which is stored online nowadays, from hackers is an important individual responsibility, but for financial advisors there is an added responsibility to protect their clients’ data from thieves. Regulators are looking to make sure they do so, and exams have already begun at advisory firms and broker-dealers to make sure appropriate resources and policies are in place to prevent data breaches.
To understand Social Security’s future, you have to understand its past. Mike Patton offers a primer with an introduction to how it all started and a theory on where we might go from here.
Finally, our Broker-Dealer Presidents Poll and Reference Guide show that while broker-dealers and their reps are facing sure challenges, they’re still optimistic about their future. In fact, not a single respondent said they doubted the viability of the independent model.
Think that your firm is too small or that your cyberdefenses are too strong to worry about digital attacks on your firm’s—and your clients’—data? The SEC and FINRA don’t think so. A reading of the regulators’ official announcements and the insights of those who know how they operate suggest that advisors run the risk not only of compromised data but of major fines as the regulators gear up to make examples of firms for cybersecurity shortcomings.
Over the past few years, attacks on advisors and their partners have morphed from the traditional account takeover—highjacking of passwords and user names—into more dramatic attacks involving sophisticated malware that is not only highly disruptive but hard to trace.
The SEC and FINRA are addressing the threat head-on, with both regulators listing cybersecurity as one of their top priorities this year and launching exam sweeps of broker-dealers and advisors that focus on the issue.
Washington Bureau Chief Melanie Waddell examines what to expect from regulators on cybersecurity in the near future.