As wealth advisory becomes more connected, intelligent and autonomous, additional risks arise. With an exponential growth in the volume of data being shared and analyzed to get the most personalized investment advice, clients could increasingly become visible targets for individualized cybercrime.

But not all is doom and gloom and the good news is—cybersecurity is improving. This is a headline most of us may not be used to reading. According to Accenture’s 2018 State of Cyber Resilience research, the percentage of successful security breaches has decreased from 36 percent to 15 percent.

This doesn’t mean though that executives should remain overconfident about their cybersecurity. Our findings also show that 42 percent of breaches are not detected for more than a week (and nine percent require more than a month). That is still a lot of risk exposure to safeguard.

Security gaps become prevalent due to the rapid changes being brought by digitization. For example, the use of open application programming interfaces (APIs) that enable third-party developers to build applications and services around financial institutions leaves firms more exposed.

As we previously blogged, building a wealth platform that adapts to client demands requires collaboration with the wealthtech ecosystem. And as firms rearchitect their offerings with wealthtech providers, it is equally important to collaborate on cybersecurity strategies.

Here are four steps to help wealth management firms reinforce cyber resilience and deliver personalized advice:

  1. Equip your field leadership and cybersecurity teams with insights to prevent breaches. Did you know a firm’s cybersecurity team only identified about two-thirds of all breaches, according to our research? Your advisors and front office staff could be your best defense, with the right analytics, tools and training. In 72 percent of the cases where a breach was not discovered by a security team, it was discovered by an employee.
  2. Extend cybersecurity standards across key partners. Accenture’s study found that only 38 percent of firms surveyed hold their ecosystem partners to the same cybersecurity standards as their business. It is critical to ensure the cybersecurity procedures of your wealthtech partners are in place and up to par with your firm’s standards.
  3. Make significant ongoing investments. Plan to increase your cybersecurity investments by double or more in the next three years.
  4. Develop solutions to identify breaches quickly. Firms need to identify a breach in days, if not hours, to contain the damage. Yet 62 percent of the firms surveyed in our study require more than 30 days to remediate a breach.

These steps could help firms master cyber resilience as they continue to provide the digital experiences investors seek.

If you are looking to accelerate your platform transformation, email me, Kendra Thompson. My team and I would be happy to help you build a connected and intelligent enterprise with a secure digital ecosystem.

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