$75,000 SEC cybersecurity penalty, RIAs and ransomware, RightCapital launches

September 13, 2019 posted by

I’m back in the saddle again! On today’s broadcast, the SEC fines an RIA
for cybersecurity oversights, learn the steps you should implement to fight ransomware,
and RightCapital is the newest startup in the financial planning software marketplace. So get ready, FPPad Bits and Bytes begins
now. Hey everyone, I’m Bill Winterberg, thank
you for joining me for this week’s “the show must go on” advisor technology news
broadcast. Today’s episode is brought to you by True
North Networks, a leading provider of managed IT, hosting, and security services to financial
professionals. With the introduction of SecureWorkplace, True North Networks helps advisors combat
cybercrime with industry leading technology, monitoring, and employee awareness training. And if you sign up for SecureWorkplace in
October, you’ll receive a free firewall valued up to $2,000. Learn more about True
North Networks and SecureWorkplace today by visiting fppad.com/truenorth I’ve been under the weather for a few days,
but I’m back with this week’s top story that comes from the Securities and Exchange
Commission, as the industry watchdog recently settled charges with a St. Louis-based RIA
for failing to establish cybersecurity policies and procedures. In its settlement, the SEC
said the firm “failed entirely to adopt written policies and procedures reasonably
designed to safeguard customer information” and the regulator assessed a $75,000 penalty.
As the result of a breach in July 2013, hackers gained access to personally identifiable information
for roughly 100,00 individuals. But the silver lining, if there is one, is
that the SEC said that no clients have suffered financial harm as a result of the breach.
Well, not yet, at least. So this is your wake up call if you’re behind
on establishing your own cybersecurity policies. You need them, and you need to periodically
test them, or you may subject your firm to similar consequences. Once again, I’ve linked the SEC’s most
recent cybersecurity guidance in the show notes, so head over to fppad.com/173 to read
it or consider hiring a security expert for RIAs like Itegria, Envision RIA, External
IT, True North Networks, Right Size Solutions, and others. Next up is more news about cybersecurity,
as Shareholders Service Group president Dan Skiles recently addressed the rise in ransomware
attacks on RIAs. Skiles notes that RIAs typically come across ransomware in a phishing email
or a rogue file attachment, and once it’s mistakenly activated, the ransomware holds
your computer and your files hostage unless you pay a ransom amount in bitcoin to unlock
everything. Obviously it’s best to never launch programs
from unknown sources, but if ransomware does get activated inside your firm, Skiles recommends
you isolate the computer that was attacked and work with an experienced IT professional
to limit the damage. Arguably the best protection against ransomware is to have a fully-functional
backup of all of your files, so you can literally throw your infected computer in the trash
and start from scratch by restoring your files from a good backup. It’s best if the ransomware never gets launched
in the first place, so keeping your cybersecurity policies up to date AND offering periodic
training to your firm’s employees will go a long way in protecting the information your
clients trust you to keep safe. And finally, I’m wrapping up with a new
startup called RightCapital, which announced the introduction of its eponymous financial
planning software at the XY Planning Network conference in Charlotte last week. RightCapital
joins Advizr, another planning software startup I’ve covered before, to offer an intuitive
and attractively-designed platform as an alternative to veteran providers like MoneyGuide Pro,
eMoney, and Advicent. You’ll have to test drive RightCaptial to
see if its planning capabilities are up to your standards, but with built-in account
aggregation, integrations with Morningstar, Yodlee, and Redtail, and a price tag under
$1,000 a year, RightCapital deserves a spot on your radar screen, especially if financial
planning is going to play a more prominent role in your business. To learn more about RightCapital and their
software, head over to fppad.com/173 for the links to this week’s top stories. Remember, Bits and Bytes exists because of
the support of our sponsors, so be sure to check out the True North Networks SecureWorkplace
solution. Learn how to increase your defenses against cybercrime and receive a free firewall
if you sign up by the end of October by visiting fppad.com/truenorth. Does all this cybersecurity news make you
nervous, or do you feel well protected against attacks? I want to know. Send me a tweet using
@billwinterberg or leave a comment on the FPPad YouTube channel. For FPPad.com, I’m Bill Winterberg, see you
next time!

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