Considering the risk clients face, it's important they question their advisors to find out what cybersecurity measures they have in place, said Michelle L. Jacko, founder and CEO of Core Compliance & Legal Services, a compliance consultation firm that serves the investment industry.
"It needs to be recognized that neither clients nor advisors have the necessary technical knowledge to understand common risks and how to counteract them," said Peter Palion, a certified financial planner and a registered principal with United Planners Financial Services. According to Palion, common cybersecurity risks include:
- Downloading PDF files without realizing there is still a temporary copy in the computer and not knowing how to clean out the cache.
- Using one computer for the whole family — and the kids downloading malware.
- Not realizing the traces of their activities on their mobile devices.
"On top of all that, most of the stuff we need to keep track of is on the Internet itself, such as password managers," Palion said. "Look at account aggregation — everything is in the cloud. Neither service providers nor broker-dealers are providing guidance to advisors or clients."