Any business is at risk for data breach—they are a single source of mass individual information—and should protect themselves accordingly against cyberattacks. Financial firms should take special considerations to protect and keep client data secure.

Here are 7 data security tips for financial firms to follow to ensure they are doing all they can to maintain the security of client data.

  1. Advise your clients on email security. Let them know how they can verify whether an email notification is legitimate contact from your financial firm or if it is an attempted phishing scam. Also, have your clients provide delicate personal or financial information through means other than in an email. Emails being sent from clients are usually not encrypted and the digital footprint of an email is left over multiple servers—allowing tech savvy individuals to see what was being sent.
  2. Encourage clients to actively monitor their credit history. There are many free credit monitoring services available—your financial firm may even provide the service to your clients. Encourage clients to use it regularly, and not just to watch their credit score fluctuations. They should also be monitoring for any new accounts, requests in credit limits, and changes to personal information (like a change of address or phone number) that may indicate identity theft.
  3. Prohibit employees from conducting work on personal computers. It is vital to the security of your financial firm that employees conduct all work-related tasks on company owned devices that are equipped with data security measures like encryption.
  4. Make sure your facility’s WIFI is secure. Check with your service provider to ensure your network is encrypted and secured by password. You also should be using a separate network if you offer your guests internet access. Even guest networks should be password secure to help limit potential threats to client data stored on their personal devices.
  5. Backup your systems. Lost data from a power outage, malware, or other threat can set your business back financially and in the eyes of your clients. Employ a data backup and disaster recover service to help keep your financial firm protected on all fronts.
  6. Routinely audit your data security practices. Don’t just assess your needs now and make adjustments where need—or worse wait to assess your needs after succumbing to a data breach. You should be routinely auditing your security to ensure your methods are not only up to date but working effectively. As times change, so do the threats posing your data. You want to make sure the security service you use are up to the ever-changing threats and data risks.
  7. Remember security goes beyond digital needs. Physical security is also important—and not just a guard or patrolling officer to ward off any in-person threats to your data or clients. Ensure proper rules, procedures, and practices are in place to ensure client data is protected at all times. For example, setting the computers to “lock out” or go into sleep mode when an employee has to step away from their desk or computer. Also ensure all paper documented data is also secured behind a lock and computers are physically secured to their station to avoid a theft of property that contains private data.

Financial firms are at a higher risk for attacks against data and should be taking the proper measures to ensure every effort is made to maintain client information security. Contact Comscend to assess your firm’s current practices and software and identify any points of weakness. We can help you to perfect your company’s data protection.