Would you ever share your financial clients’ account access with a stranger? What about storing their documents on a table in the public library? Of course not. Safeguarding account information from unauthorized access in asset management is paramount. However, if you have weak IT security, that access is surprisingly easy to gain. And if you don’t have a secure data backup, your files could disappear or be corrupted just as readily as if a class of 2nd graders was set loose in that library to wreak havoc.
Trust is crucial in financial services. Your clients are entrusting management of their assets to you because they are confident that you are both principled and capable. A lesson I’ve learned as a parent is that we need to have trust, but verify. When we were packing for a vacation, I would trust that they’ve packed their pajamas and toothbrushes, but I still verify that assumption before we leave the house. I’ve since found it useful to remember that maxim in the business world. So, when your clients inquire about your data security setup to make sure they’re making the right choice, what will you say to retain their trust? If you’re partnered with us, you can respond with confidence.
Keeping up with the moving goalposts of IT security
Data security has changed quite a bit over the past few years. While you’ve been expanding your business and gaining more and more clients, the arms race between those of us that defend data and those that try to steal it has been growing as well. So, say your firm is five years old and you have spent the last four in the same building. Much of the infrastructure that was installed was suitable for keeping on top of your security…four years ago. But piecemeal additions to the IT network, a little bit at a time, and the changing tech landscape could mean that you’re open to newly devised threats. Any computer in your network might be a potential access point where a security weakness or a missed update could open the door to unwanted guests.
Once a business gets past a certain age, the tools you use every day start to get outdated. The coffee machine starts making funny noises. Your desk has one too many pockmarks. The jumble of network cables that was suitable for your workload five years ago is now getting strained, and the cybersecurity world has moved past it in leaps and bounds. These issues affect businesses at different times, but it can be harder to diagnose an insecure or overloaded network compared to a dying coffee maker. You’re doing a lot more business away from your desk compared to before, and you may even be considering letting a couple of employees work from home. The advancing tech you use has also created a lot more time and efficiency in how you can spend your time—that is, until it falters due to a missed security patch. This newfound flexibility comes with more vulnerability than existed five years ago.
There’s an easy way to make sure you’re on the right path and have an IT system that is not only secure enough to be a selling point to clients, but is also set up to support you and your potential expansion for the long haul. That answer is to get a network security assessment.
Examining your network infrastructure
One of our first steps in a typical security assessment is intrusion testing. We’ll let our experts try to break through your security to get a sense of what our starting point is. Most tests lead to us exploiting a weakness in under five minutes. Now, if you think that sounds an awful lot like hacking, you’re right! In networking classes, one of the first things you learn is how to hack so that you’ll know how to defend against it. That often comes in handy, as the network assessment demonstrates.
From there, we take stock of what you have in terms of your physical IT network and how it functions on the back end. We’ll get an understanding of your environment to make sure you’re getting the most out of your systems and software in place. Can your financial programs be optimized to make taxes for the client (and you) easier? What are the best avenues you have in place for securely sharing documents between employees and clients? We’ll investigate any potential vulnerabilities you have and examine what risk management tools you have in place to ensure minimal downtime and maximal threat neutralization. We’ll also determine whether the most appropriate software and security patches are in place, taking the long-term security of your system into account.
To help strengthen your security after an assessment, we offer a number of different options that can be customized to your needs. Many financial institutions find that moving to our cloud servers is the best option, because it reduces the access points into your network to only the well-encrypted cloud server, while increasing their business’s flexibility with all of the benefits that the cloud brings. You will also gain an understanding of the importance of doing things right on your end, and we sit down and discuss all of the best ways to get the most out of your security with aspects like password protocol, device security best practices, and employee education.
Network security is a battle to be fought on all fronts. You stay vigilant with who you share your personal info with and keep your devices from falling into the wrong hands. We will be your vanguard, keeping your cybersecurity modern and updated, and facing any threats head-on. Together, we can keep your client info safe, and their trust high.
It all comes back to that trust, from your clients to you to DiamondIT. Many businesses in the financial sector know that their data is secure with us, and that in turn helps their clients be confident that their information is secure. Reach out to us at DiamondIT and we can demonstrate why so many businesses trust us with their most important data.