The coming cybersecurity challenge for advisors

This summer's breach of the Democratic National Committee's confidential files brought renewed attention to the issue of cybersecurity.

Ironically, the attack on the DMC — and similar headline-making hacking into the systems of the nation's largest banks and retailers — may bring a sense of relief to other, less prominent, businesses. After all, if giant organizations can be hacked successfully, why would cyber criminals bother with smaller targets? 

But broker-dealers and advisory firms who feel that their relatively low profiles serve as a protection against data breaches and cyberattacks better think again. With their troves of information on wealthy individuals and access to billions of dollars in securities whether or not they themselves maintain custody, broker-dealers and advisors are tempting targets for cyber criminals. And the SEC is concerned.  MORE