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- Wednesday, 07 June 2017 09:06
The key message following the aftermath of the WannaCry ransomware cyber attack which infected more than 230,000 computers in over 150 countries is clear: financial advisers and firms cannot afford to be complacent and need to ensure they do all they can to protect their organisations.
A recent poll in April of a group of 220 financial advisers found that almost half of them have had direct experience of cyber attacks, with 30 percent experiencing them in their personal lives and 14 percent in their businesses.
The poll, conducted by Intelliflo also found a further 44 percent of respondents knew people who have been victims of attacks - only 12 percent said they, or anyone they knew, had no experience of cyber attacks.
A separate poll by Intelliflo revealed four out of five consumers (82 percent) said they would fire their adviser if it became public that the adviser had been hacked.
Nick Eatock, executive chairman of Intelliflo, said, "The findings are a shocking testament to how common cyber attacks have become and highlights how crucial it is that advisers ensure they are using software for clients that is designed to protect data from malicious attack.
"When you take into consideration that, under General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), all firms will have to report breaches that are likely to result in a risk to the rights and freedoms of individuals within 72 hours, breaches will become publicly available. In some cases, you will be required to inform the individuals who have been affected by the breach."
While many advisers recognise the importance of cyber security and keep their software up to date, Intelliflo believes there needs to be more awareness about how risky unsupported browsers can be.
Intelliflo's analysis of its users highlights that around 10 percent currently use unsupported browsers or operating systems, which leaves them exposed to a plethora of cyber risks.
Ben Jepson, director for risk management at NCC Group, said, "Threat actors are using increasingly sophisticated techniques. And with just 12 months to go until GDPR is enforced, it is vital that organisations in all sectors take cyber security seriously in order to mitigate risk.
"The [UK] Information Commissioner's Office can currently fine organisations up to £500,000, but this is going to rise to a maximum of €20 million or 4 percent of a company's global turnover in May 2018."
A 2017 Cyber Security Breaches Survey by the UK's Department for Culture, Media and Sport, further suggests that businesses are still not taking cyber security seriously.
It showed just under a third (29 percent) of organisations in the UK have a board member that is responsible for cyber security. This figure is somewhat surprising considering that 46 percent of all UK businesses identified at least one cyber security breach or attack in the last 12 months.
ICC Commercial Crime Services is holding its annual Economic Crime Lecture on June 22nd 2017. The Lecture will discuss the challenges and threats posed by cybercrime and social media and look at this area from the frontline knowledge and experience of David Toddington and Paul Vlissidis, both leading experts in this field.
It will look at this fast-growing phenomenon, give examples of how it is exploited and measures that can be taken to identify threats, create awareness and build an effective response.
David Toddington is CEO of Toddington International. He was a senior manager in the IT industry and has experience in police and military operations. He sits as Chair of the Open Source Intelligence and Research Association.
Paul Vlissidis is Technical Director of the NCC Group. He is a Senior Strategic Advisor to the Boards of key clients on holistic approaches to cyber resilience and has 25 years' experience in the cyber security industry.
Both are ongoing cast members in the ground-breaking hit Channel 4 television series Hunted.
The Lecture is open to members only. More information about CCS membership can be found at https://icc-ccs.org/membership