Almost half of advisers affected by cyber attacks, finds Intelliflo

By Miles Reucroft
May 15, 2017 9:38:07 AM

Almost half (44%) of financial advisers polled by Intelliflo¹ have had direct experience of cyber attacks, with 30% experiencing them in their personal lives and 14% in their businesses. A further 44% of respondents knew people who have been victims of attacks - only 12% said they, or anyone they knew, had no experience of cyber attacks.

In a separate poll², Intelliflo found that four out of five (82%) consumers said they would fire their adviser if it became public that the adviser had been hacked.

Nick Eatock, Executive Chairman of Intelliflo comments: 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 the 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% currently use unsupported browsers or operating systems, which leaves them exposed to a plethora of cyber risks.

To help inform advisers about cyber security, Intelliflo has joined up with NCC Group, a global expert in cyber security and risk mitigation. NCC Group is Intelliflo’s partner for cyber security for its Intelligent Office (iO) software. Intelliflo and NCC Group have published a free-to-download paper entitled Mitigating Cyber Risk in the Financial Services Sector. The paper covers a broad range of issues including:

  • The importance of governance and the development of a company security culture.
  • An overview of the threats posed by cyber attacks and poor cyber security.
  • How to develop a cyber security strategy.
  • How to build a cyber security toolkit to mitigate risk.
  • How to detect, recover and respond to cyber attacks.

Intelliflo and NCC Group will be launching a free cyber security helpline for iO users which will be live in June. Financial advisers who have any queries relating to their security arrangements, or who believe that they have been attacked, will be able to utilise the helpline free of charge.

Intelliflo is also providing a free interactive cyber security eLearning course for iO clients.

Ben Jepson, Director for Risk Management at NCC Group, says: 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 Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) can currently fine organisations up to £500,000, but this is going to rise to a maximum of €20 million or 4% of a company's global turnover in May 2018.

Mitigating Cyber Risk in the Financial Services Sector can be downloaded free here:

Download - Mitigating Cyber Risk in the Financial Services Sector

¹Survey carried out among 220 users of Intelliflo’s Intelligent Office during April 2017.

²Survey carried out among 500 UK based consumers of financial products by Citizenme, commissioned by Intelliflo, in April 2017.