Retail banks are among the most high-profile targets of hackers, and face constant assaults, but specialist firms handling investments can also be tempting to the discerning criminal, says Parker Fitzgerald director Michael Soppitt.
“The average value of an account at an investment management firm is significantly higher than at a retail bank, and high-value customers’ information is more saleable”.
Parker Fitzgerald is aware of 13 major cyber security breaches at fund management companies over the past year. Soppitt says that hackers have become more adept at finding weak spots in the many types of companies – technology platforms, advisers, custodian banks – involved in the financial products supply chain.
While the public image of a hacker was once that of a lone nerd or idealist – in Soppitt’s words, “a geek in their garage” – companies are now up against organised criminal gangs who trade in various markets for illicit information. Criminals may breach a company’s defences and then sell access to others.
“Many organisations have been caught unawares. Just a decade ago, stealing from an institution would have required a gun.
“But we are seeing important ideas gaining traction. Companies are recognising that security is an ongoing process, not just a product that you buy. That’s an important shift in thinking. That’s an important shift in thinking”.
Don’t be afraid to ask companies what measures they have in place to protect you as a customer, says Soppitt.
Read the full article: Cyber criminals target your wealth on the Financial Times.
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