Back to the office? Schwab offers a 5-step e-prep checklist
Covid has forced many advisers and representatives to work from home over the past year. With little time for planning or preparation, businesses and finance professionals have done their best, tinkering with plans and systems in order to keep doing business on an interrupted basis.
But going on business 19 months ago may have left gaps in many companies’ tech and cybersecurity policies and safeguards, just as financial cyber attacks have become more threatening than ever, on the rise. 41% in the first half, according to LexisNexis Risk Solutions.
“With many of us returning to the office, now is the time to take stock of your cyber hygiene,” said Charles Schwab Corp. in a new preparation list. The list is designed for finance professionals who want to ensure these cybersecurity gaps are addressed with plans that will withstand regulatory scrutiny.
What is clear is that the transition to the office after 19 months at home requires more than just shutting down your laptop and bringing it to work with you.
There are five main cybersecurity and operational issues to consider when transitioning your team to the office, Schwab said.
Whether you are moving back to a full-time work schedule or a more hybrid schedule, high on your list should be communicating your cybersecurity expectations and policies so that employees and independent advisors know what your business is. business is waiting, Schwab said.
“For many businesses, hybrid models where employees divide time between remote and in-person work will be part of the future. Switching between workstation configurations can create the temptation to share files and send email using personal accounts or save documents to removable media. This can introduce a lot of risk, and it can be beneficial to err on the side of caution and prohibit these practices, ”Schwab said.
Decide what type change and file sharing will be allowed, if any, and clearly communicate your policies up front, to avoid confusion and missteps, the report says.
This is also the time to look for vulnerabilities. While the hybrid environment has worked well for many companies and advisors – some of whom have said they haven’t missed anything in terms of customer service – it is common for an increase in cybercrime, Schwab said. .
For example, the Securities and Exchange Commission said that examiners are seeing “an increase in the number of cyber attacks against investment advisers and SEC-registered brokers using credential stuffing to gain access to client accounts at the SEC. using compromised client login information, resulting in possible loss. of customer assets and unauthorized disclosure of sensitive personal information. “
Failure to proactively mitigate the risk of credential jamming “dramatically increases various risks to businesses, including, but not limited to, financial, regulatory, legal, and reputational risks, as well as , above all, the risks to investors, ”the agency said.
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