financial advisor security

There are so many opportunities when it comes to digital marketing, but there are also risks that financial advisors must take special care to avoid. There are dozens of attempted website hacks every day, and advisors must take precautions to protect their client’s information and avoid inadvertently spreading viruses to their devices. For the independent advisor, trust can be hard to build and can disappear with the open of one phishing email.

Why Are Financial Advisors Especially at Risk?

74 percent of financial advisors have been the target of a cyberattack. Advisors handle large amounts of sensitive data, and this data is valuable to criminals because it can be sold or used. For example, submit forms on your website bring in new information every day. An attacker can gather all visitor website submissions from your site and sell it to a third-party advertising agent, steal identities, or even try to sell it to your competitor.

In a worst-case scenario, a hacker could steal your client’s and prospect’s email addresses and send them an email posing as you. A phishing email that seems to come from you would put their personal information and your reputation at risk. This would be a nightmare, considering how much time and energy advisors spend building trust with their clients and prospects.

What Can You Do to Protect Yourself?

Keeping your website secure is of the utmost importance. Websites require ongoing maintenance for many reasons, one being cybersecurity. Regular updates are made to fix bugs and enhance software, as well as reinforce security, since out of date software can fall victim to cyberattacks more easily. We update and monitor the website we build daily so that we can make necessary updates immediately, as well as keep an eye out for cyberattacks. For example, if someone is attempting to hack in, we get real-time alerts that tell us who they are and what they’re doing so we can block them immediately. Time is of the essence because the site’s hosting provider could shut down the website in the event of an unnoticed attack, making it inaccessible for days.

How Can Advisors Let Their Clients Know About Their Cyber Security Measures?

 Advisors can communicate that they have invested in security measures to protect their clients’ and prospects’ information. This can be done through a privacy/security policy statement on your website. Visitors to our advisor’s websites can view the privacy policy on a separate page, written in a readable-sized font and format. It clearly explains the Terms of Use, how personal information is collected and shared, and what security measures are in place to protect it. There is also an invitation to contact the advisor in the event that someone wants to correct or remove any personal data.

The saying ‘a stitch in time saves nine’ applies to cybersecurity – it’s better to take the time to set up and maintain good cybersecurity practices than deal with the consequences of a cyberattack. As an advisor, you’ve spent years building trust with your clients and prospects. They’ve entrusted you and your website with their data, and the last thing you want is for that to be compromised. See Three Key Cybersecurity Lessons for Financial Advisors on more ways to protect your business with the best cybersecurity practices, or get in touch to learn about Lone Beacon’s best practices for website security!