Why is cybersecurity important, and what steps should an advisory firm take to ensure that clients have it?
There is little doubt technology has had a positive effect on the lives of countless people worldwide. However, technology also has its dark side: Cybercrime may well be the single most profitable criminal endeavor of all time. The numbers of individuals and businesses impacted by digital attacks and data breaches are staggering. In response, education and awareness are crucial to safeguard the financial well-being of our families, friends and colleagues.
As an SEC Registered Investment Advisor, we comply with a variety of regulatory requirements meant to protect our clients. We’ve also designed policies and procedures to protect our clients and their assets managed by our firm.
Our Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery Plan and Data Security Plan are two examples of these efforts.
We believe a cybersecurity program should remain alert to constantly evolving threats to provide clients peace of mind. To support our internal efforts, we’ve enlisted the services of third-party vendors with sophisticated cybersecurity solutions. We utilize an actively managed cloud-based platform offering email encryption, two-factor authentication, device management and on-call experts. Data backup is provided through multiple, high-quality data centers.
The numbers of individuals and businesses impacted by digital attacks and data breaches are staggering.
In addition to these tools, we constantly improve and adapt our policies and procedures to better serve our clients. And, in this regard, we find that a simple, low-tech method is oftentimes our most effective defense: For instance, requiring verbal confirmation when clients request to transfer funds to third parties is a virtually foolproof method to ensure the origin and validity of the request and to thwart fraudulent activity.
Similarly, we encourage our clients themselves to employ basic best practices:
- Create strong passwords with at least one upper and lowercase letter, a number and special character, if allowed.
- Change passwords regularly and do not use the same password for more than one online account.
- Apply patches and updates to all software and operating systems on computers, laptops and all mobile devices.
- Don’t overshare on social media and set the privacy settings to limit online exposure.
- Don’t open email attachments from unknown sources.
As a firm, we remain vigilant to criminals’ increasingly sophisticated and well-organized schemes. In tandem with the sophisticated steps we’ve taken, we remain steadfastly committed to safeguarding our clients through advancements in technology.
Coastal Bridge Advisors is a registered investment advisor with its principal place of business in the state of Connecticut. Registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training. Coastal Bridge may only transact business in those states in which it is registered or notice filed, or qualifies for an exemption or exclusion from such requirements. For information pertaining to the registration status of Coastal Bridge, please contact Coastal Bridge or refer to the Investment Advisor Public Disclosure (IAPD) website (www. adviserinfo.sec.gov). Coastal Bridge does not make any representations as to the accuracy, timeliness, suitability, completeness, or relevance of any information prepared by any unaffiliated third party, whether referenced or incorporated herein, and takes no responsibility therefore. All such information is provided solely for convenience purposes only and all users thereof should be guided accordingly. This presentation should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the authors as of the date of publication and are subject to change without prior notice.