These days, every business faces a certain level of exposure to Internet-based threats. Given the serious consequences of a data breach, financial services firms in particular have a duty to limit or manage these threats to the fullest extent possible.
Security threat assessments help determine the best methods of securing a system or network against specific intrusion opportunities. For example: penetration testing, otherwise known as ‘ethical hacking’, enables a proper evaluation of threat profiles so that a company’s IT department can develop effective countermeasures.
Unlike risk profiling, which focuses more on analyzing the potential of a business to fall prey to certain cyber-attacks, threat assessments also examine the attacker’s resources, so that security policies can be strengthened in response.
This article presents three reasons why Los Angeles investment advisors need a security threat assessment, as well as the consequences of going without one.
Evaluate Existing Security Controls
Financial advisory firms face a broad range of threats and are subject to regulations that must be taken into account in the context of a threat analysis. To put together an effective network security system, a firm needs to evaluate how well its present setup detects and responds to intrusions.
Routine and in-depth assessments allow a company’s IT personnel to address weaknesses in the existing security infrastructure before hackers or data thieves can detect them and do potentially irreparable damage.
Prioritizing Security initiatives
A comprehensive threat analysis allows security initiatives to be accurately prioritized. When the likelihood and potential damage of these threats are assessed, a company’s information security team can allocate its resources to vulnerabilities that are more likely to be targeted.
Threat assessments also inform team members where the cyber-assaults are likely to originate from, as well as their behavior pattern and goal, all of which can be used to put together a security strategy.
Demonstrating Compliance with Federal Regulations
Regulatory bodies such as FINRA and the SEC require financial advisory firms to maintain an acceptable written IT security policy that is based on a threat assessment. By conducting and documenting their threat assessments, firms are demonstrating compliance with regulatory mandates.
Cyber-attacks on big businesses are in the news all the time. To stay on top of similar virtual dangers, financial services firms need to update their methods of managing cyber-risks.
Security threat assessments will help these companies adopt more secure and resilient defenses, keeping them safe, secure, and compliant.
How often does your company undergo security threat assessments? Let us know your thoughts in the Comments box below.
And to follow-through on the tips introduced in this short article, be sure to download your free guide, Investing in High Net Worth Clients: The LA Investment Advisor's Guide to Using Technology to Manage and Grow Your Firm.