The alternative investment industry is a prime target for cyber criminals looking to extort funds or compromise security. The volume of data used in every day processes, as well as the sensitive information being handled and the large sums of money involved, make this sector a particularly attractive goal for those with ulterior motives. Despite this, many firms still do not have the infrastructure in place to protect themselves – often with serious consequences.
Disruption to business continuity
Operational disruption is a key threat for any business looking to maintain exceptional client service. Business continuity could be disrupted for a matter of hours or could be compromised for days. Something as simple as malware or ransomware could bring all operations to a halt by locking the business out of key systems or taking essential data hostage until a large settlement has been paid.
Much of the alternative investment industry is built on reputation – trust, confidence and security are crucial components in any relationship in this sector. These can be swiftly eroded where there has been a cyber security breach, especially if it emerges that there was no protection in place to prevent it. Clients may feel that their data is no longer safe in the hands of the business or they may believe that the lack of security provision indicates poor strategy or planning. A cyber security breach can be difficult to keep quiet – particularly with the new reporting requirements in the GDPR – and, as a result, tricky to recover from.
There are multiple ways in which a cyber security breach could result in tangible physical loss for a business in the alternative investment sector. This could be something as simple as the attrition of clients who no longer feel the fund is secure, to spear phishing and ransomware attacks that directly drain funds. A security breach that compromises systems will mean that an entire fund can be paralysed, resulting in the loss of all services that are required to ensure that transactions are completed.
What can you do to manage a cyber security breach?
- Assess and review. Where are the points of vulnerability in the systems that you use and are the protections that you currently have in place providing adequate protection?
- Update and maintain. Ensure that you are not leaving your business vulnerable through something as simple as software that has not been updated.
- Prepare for disaster recovery. A disaster recovery strategy ensures that a response to any attack can be swift. The faster you are able to respond, and the more prepared you are, the less likely your business will suffer negative consequences as a result.
- Back up all your data. Cloud back ups enable access to essential systems and data even when there is a cyber security breach, ensuring business continuity and enabling swift recovery.
At netConsult we design bespoke IT infrastructure that includes extensive security provision to ensure that your business is never over exposed and is able to handle security issues as they arise.
Author: Laura Zverko - Follow us on Google+