There is nothing more irritating than when you encounter a patently unfair situation that is impossible to remedy.
In today’s world in which most communication and business transactions occur on electronic or digital platforms, an unfair demand is being placed on those companies who conduct their business online.
Consumers and affluent investors both demand that their personal financial data be kept safe from computer and online hackers. However, no program has as yet been created that can guarantee such safety, no matter how much a company or firm is willing to spend.
As complicated as it sometimes sounds, all information available electronically is created by human coders, and what can be created can also be accessed by someone who understands coding sufficiently.
There is no such thing as a safe electronic or digital file. Which is why we titled our new whitepaper on the topic of cybersecurity: Does Safe Exist? The Perils of Digital Information.
The whitepaper examines how investors feel about the safety of their personal financial information in the digital world, but the most compelling research that the study generates is the demands investors have for their financial advisor or provider.
Here are the most significant data points:
- Only 24 percent of investors believe it is possible to keep personal information completely safe from hacking while using online services for banking or making purchases.
- Asked to place their level of confidence on a 0-to-100 scale, investors rated their confidence in their financial advisor and provider to keep their financial data safe at the very middling 56.84. That is not overly confident.
- And yet, 65 percent of investors said they would leave their advisor or provider if their information was hacked via their provider’s computer system.
That does not seem fair. Investors do not believe information can be kept completely safe from hacking, but they expect their advisor and provider to keep their information completely safe from hacking.
There is no panacea that will provide complete security for the files you have on client portfolios. There is no amount of money that can be spent to solve the problem of computer hacking.
What can be done is for financial advisors and providers to provide to investors a detailed explanation of the efforts they make to make it as difficult as possible for hackers to access the data they have.
The financial advisory industry is beset by endless numbers of incidents in which personal information is being accessed by people who have no right to the information. Many times, firms which are attacked by computer hackers spend millions to update their systems, only to be successfully attacked a second time. It almost seems like providers offer to computer hackers a challenge, as if to say “See if you can hack our NEW protections.”
And they do.
Some firms may believe investors only need to know what they need to know, and may not be free to offer information about the actions they take which, in other cases, might seem like backroom details investors would not need.
But when it comes to computer file safety, investors have concerns, and the only way to calm investor fears is to be upfront about what you are doing to protect their information.
And then, likely do more than you are already doing.
© 2018 Spectrem Group