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According to a February 2018 report from the White House Council of Economic Advisors, the U.S. economy suffered between $57 billion and $109 billion in losses due to cyberattacks in 2016. Constantly evolving threats endanger institutions and individuals alike. These threats require consistent monitoring to mitigate the risk.
Responding to the evolving cyber threat
My firm implemented a robust IT governance program that uses the National Institute of Standards and Technology(NIST) cybersecurity model as part of its risk-management framework. This framework monitors the following key areas of IT risks:
1. Network security both at the edge boundary (firewall rules and intrusion detection) and internal assets management (vulnerability scanning, patch management and virus protection);
2. User access management for entitlement (privileges) to access and use Summit Trail information;
3. Third-party security review and Service Level Monitoring;
4. Incident management of cyber security events;
5. Business continuity and disaster recovery;
6. Mandatory training of employees in security awareness programs;
7. Regular “phishing” and penetration testing to determine potential security gaps;
8. Overall governance of the program, continually assessing risks (annual risk assessment along with weekly/monthly risk updates) on an ongoing basis along with leveraging news tools in the marketplace (e.g., darktrace) providing timely information of potential security threats.
9. Salesforce Financial Services Cloud as its primary client relationship management (CRM) tool. Salesforce is the number one ranking CRM by the International Data Corporation (IDC) for the past four consecutive years Leveraging cloud-based technology, Salesforce reinforces your security customer data.
Client risk mitigation strategy
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security notes that one out of every three homes has a computer infected by malware. Given those odds, here are a few tips to keep your data secure at home.
MFA is your BFF. Multi-factor authentication (MFA) relies on more than just your password to access your data. Strong passwords are a great first step. MFA requires two separate steps to log into your computer and accounts.
The two-step process can include a password that generates a text code to your cell phone, a combination of security questions, or your fingerprint.
Here, phishy! By now, most people understand that a random prince in a distant country will not split his multimillion-dollar fortune with them if they send him money. But phishing scams have grown in complexity.
Scams may appear in the form of a utility bill in your email box, reminding you that payment is due. Before you enter your banking information, call the company to make sure they truly sent the bill.
Do not overshare. Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram are all wonderful ways to stay in touch with friends and family. It is also a great way for cyber thieves to track your location. Using public wi-fi to post your vacation photos only makes matters worse.
Every time you connect to an unsecured connection, you invite anyone in the vicinity to tap into everything stored on your computer. Wait until you are back in the hotel or back home to upload your pictures from a secured network.
Protecting your finances and your family
Use the most up-to-date cybersecurity measures to protect your financial information. By using MFA, watching for phish,and using only secured networks, you have a few extra cybersecurity tools to protect your family's personal information.
Thomas Harms is chief operating officer of Summit Trail Advisors, a registered investment advisor that is part of the Dynasty network.
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