On today’s broadcast, the SEC fines an RIA for cybersecurity oversights, learn the steps you should implement to fight ransomware, and RightCapital is the newest startup in the financial planning software marketplace.
So get ready, FPPad Bits and Bytes begins now.
Today’s episode is brought to you by True North Networks, a leading provider of managed IT, hosting, and security services to financial professionals. With the introduction of SecureWorkplace, True North Networks helps advisors combat cybercrime with industry leading technology, monitoring, and employee awareness training.
And if you sign up for SecureWorkplace in October, you’ll receive a free firewall valued up to $2,000. Learn more about True North Networks and SecureWorkplace today by visiting fppad.com/truenorth
[I’ve been under the weather for a few days, but I’m back with this week’s top story that comes from the Securities and Exchange Commission, as the industry watchdog recently settled charges with a St. Louis-based RIA for failing to establish cybersecurity policies and procedures. In its settlement, the SEC said the firm “failed entirely to adopt written policies and procedures reasonably designed to safeguard customer information” and the regulator assessed a $75,000 penalty. As the result of a breach in July 2013, hackers gained access to personally identifiable information for roughly 100,00 individuals.
But the silver lining, if there is one, is that the SEC said that no clients have suffered financial harm as a result of the breach. Well, not yet, at least.
So this is your wake up call if you’re behind on establishing your own cybersecurity policies. You need them, and you need to periodically test them, or you may subject your firm to similar consequences.
Once again, I’ve linked the SEC’s most recent cybersecurity guidance in the show notes or consider hiring a security expert for RIAs like Itegria, Envision RIA, External IT, True North Networks, Right Size Solutions, and others.]
Don’t Pay the Hacker’s Ransom from ThinkAdvisor.com
[Next up is more news about cybersecurity, as Shareholders Service Group president Dan Skiles recently addressed the rise in ransomware attacks on RIAs. Skiles notes that RIAs typically come across ransomware in a phishing email or a rogue file attachment, and once it’s mistakenly activated, the ransomware holds your computer and your files hostage unless you pay a ransom amount in bitcoin to unlock everything.
Obviously it’s best to never launch programs from unknown sources, but if ransomware does get activated inside your firm, Skiles recommends you isolate the computer that was attacked and work with an experienced IT professional to limit the damage. Arguably the best protection against ransomware is to have a fully-functional backup of all of your files, so you can literally throw your infected computer in the trash and start from scratch by restoring your files from a good backup.
It’s best if the ransomware never gets launched in the first place, so keeping your cybersecurity policies up to date AND offering periodic training to your firm’s employees will go a long way in protecting the information your clients trust you to keep safe.] When your firm is hit with a ransomware virus, try these steps first
New financial planning software tries to win market share in a crowded field from InvestmentNews
[And finally, I’m wrapping up with a new startup called RightCapital, which announced the introduction of its eponymous financial planning software at the XY Planning Network conference in Charlotte last week. RightCapital joins Advizr, another planning software startup I’ve covered before, to offer an intuitive and attractively-designed platform as an alternative to veteran providers like MoneyGuide Pro, eMoney, and Advicent.
You’ll have to test drive RightCaptial to see if its planning capabilities are up to your standards, but with built-in account aggregation, integrations with Morningstar, Yodlee, and Redtail, and a price tag under $1,000 a year, RightCapital deserves a spot on your radar screen, especially if financial planning is going to play a more prominent role in your business.] Newly launched service provider RightCapital thinks it has created a better mousetrap and is undaunted by the hypercompetitive market