Cybersecurity for asset managers

As asset managers are adapting to meet client demand for faster financial transactions and real-time transparency in portfolio performance, the underlying infrastructure becomes more digital and connected, i.e. a high-value target for cyber criminals.

Although increased connectivity brings new opportunities, it simultaneously exposes to new risks that can potentially impact brand value, shared information or client satisfaction. To confidently grow business, efforts should mainly focus on three digital threat actors:

Cyber Criminals are looking for easy ways to quickly make an online profit. Investment strategies or clients data are valuable assets when sold online on the Dark Web. As a strategy, ransomware has been increasing in popularity. By deploying ransomware, cyber criminals deny employees access to their emails, documents and databases until they have paid a ransom to retrieve their access to the company’s own data.

Hacktivist act with extremist political and often irrational motivations. These threat actors are out to damage a financial institution’s brand, share price or client trust by exposing sensitive internal communications or taking over public facing marketing channels such as the company’s website.

Insider employees with privileged access can be tempted into misuse of the trust they have been given. A disgruntled employee can impact the confidentiality or the integrity of internal client records or trigger fraudulent transactions to make up for his losses.

To increase a financial institution’s resiliency to these cyber threats, it is typically recommended to implement initiatives on the following fronts:

Security Awareness campaigns. People in the organization form the first line of defense. They need to be aware of security risks involved with their daily tasks. Extensive awareness campaigns that proactively educate and train your personnel can foster the required security culture to spot insider threats or fraudulent phishing emails before they impact the business.

Security Operations Centre. Even with strong security investments, a breach in your outer perimeter cannot be prevented. It’s important to have an in-house or outsourced SOC in place that monitors your network 24/7 for malicious activity. Early detection of intruders drastically limits their window to cause harm.

Incident Response. When a cyber security incident occurs, you’ll be glad to have experts on speed dial that can support you right then and there. Don’t deal with red tape while your company is under attack, every minute counts.

To grow business confidently in today’s changing environment, companies rely on Accenture as a long-term trusted partner to prioritize their cyber risks according to underlying business needs. Through a security strategy embedded in the enterprise’s business goals, Accenture supports the required executive buy-in to confidently address cyber risks and enable business opportunities through strategic consulting, infrastructure transformations or operational outsourcing.

For more information on the steps your organization can take to effectively deal with cyber threats, visit our latest thinking.

Ready to take action? Feel free to Contact me to discuss how Accenture Security can help you out-innovate the security threat in your organization.

Authors: Karim Leziar Vanessa Müller