Cybersecurity is a constant threat, and considering how attractive a target a financial firm is, especially if they serve high-net-worth clients, advisors should be prepared for the worst.
Kimberly Foss, founder of Empyrion Wealth Management based in Roseville, California, noted the importance of having the right people to help you following a data breach.
“Hopefully you have a great IT team,” she told ThinkAdvisor on Thursday. When you realize you’ve been hacked, “you shut everything down, call the IT team and tell them what’s happened. Hopefully they can come in and find out where the hack happened and do the diagnostic of how they need to fix that.”
Then advisors need to determine how far the hackers got. “You have to figure out, did they get to client data? If you’re assuming yes, you do have an obligation to contact the client,” Foss said. “Things happen; stuff like this happens, so don’t wait. Email or call them and let them know what happened; what are the steps that you’re taking to contain that breach and move forward.”
Sometimes cybercriminals use “ghosting,” a type of identity theft where the attacker adopts the identity of a dead person, to make contact with a victim.