Are you doing all you can to protect your data properly?

Posted by Asset Managers Audience Broker-Dealers Family Offices Registered Investment Advisors White Papers No Comments

Cybercrime continues to be a very serious problem in the financial industry. The number and sophistication of malicious attacks has increased over the last few years and is not expected to slow down anytime soon. While the latest OCIE alert shows a marked increase in overall cybersecurity preparedness and awareness by advisors and broker-dealers, there are still areas where firms are failing. This white paper details our observations in the field and provides real-world guidance to the security issues advisors and broker-dealers are facing on a daily basis.

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Not all Clouds are Equal: Demystifying the ‘Public Vs. Private’ Debate

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Is the Cloud Secure Enough to Support a Wealth Management Firm’s Critical Company Information?

Different clouds do different things. As such, choosing the right approach to the cloud can have a significant impact, both short- and long-term on a wealth management firm’s business.

Ask a wealth management colleague to define “the cloud” and you are likely to get a vague response. Even among IT experts the term “the cloud” can have different meanings. And despite the fact that cloud computing has become the IT norm, questions remain about its security remain.  The truth is not all clouds are equal in infrastructure and in management.  This white paper is for wealth management professionals who seek to understand “the cloud” and how these technologies can support their overall business goals.

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SaaS and You: How to Safeguard your Client Data in the Cloud

Posted by Asset Managers Breakaway-Advisors Broker-Dealers Family Offices Registered Investment Advisors White Papers No Comments

Are Your SaaS Applications Safe?

If your firm is like most modern wealth management firms, you use a variety of business and financial software packages, many of them “in the cloud.” Unfortunately, security controls vary significantly from one SaaS provider to the next.

Therefore, you need to make certain the providers you share your client data with have invested in state-of- the-art security measures. All it takes is one cyber breach with the vendor directly or a company the vendor contracts with to put your firm at risk. Read our white paper to learn what to look for when selecting SaaS vendors, as well as additional security measures you should implement to protect your firm.

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Webinar Replay: Compliance Is About More Than Paperwork, Cybersecurity is Taking Center Stage

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Is It Time For CCO’s To Step Up To Technology Decisions at RIA’s?

A startling realization is dawning on Chief Compliance Officers at RIAs. After years of focusing on documentation that proves employees are behaving properly, regulators are calling upon CCOs to step up and make crucial decisions about cybersecurity at their firms. Understandably, many RIAs have yet to adjust to this changing landscape. If you missed our webinar you can join hosts Jason Claycomb and Justin Kapahi in the recorded session for a discussion on how to keep your firm compliant, complete with advice for CCOs who may be taking their first steps into the world of cybersecurity. Watch Here

Download Recording & Slides Here

External IT FINRA White Paper

FINRA Intensifies Cybersecurity Guidance for Broker Dealers

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Prepare for a regulatory deep dive as computer-based threats grow in importance.

Broker-dealers and RIAs are becoming a bigger target than ever this year as regulators clamor to strengthen the cybersecurity practices of financial institutions. Due to its mandate of protecting investors and market integrity by overseeing securities firms, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has taken a leading role in this initiative.

The alarming truth is that many broker-dealers have failed to stay up to date with cybersecurity controls, and must swiftly get in compliance with all computer-related rules that FINRA enforces or else risk disciplinary action. The agency also operates in coordination with The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), as well as other federal agencies that are concerned about cybersecurity, thus our report will also touch on some of the most relevant rules from those other organizations like:

Regulatory/Disciplinary Timeline, Risk/Change Management, Cyber-security, Outsourcing, Data Governance, and How to Prepare.

Download Whitepaper Here

External IT Webinar SaaS Vendors

Third Party Due Diligence Webinar, How Secure is Your Client Data?

Posted by Article Asset Managers Broker-Dealers Registered Investment Advisors Webinars No Comments

What should you expect from your third-party software providers, SaaS Vendors?

The SEC, FINRA and other regulators have increased expectations of RIAs and broker-dealers – with cyber security and disaster recovery top of their list. Increased regulatory scrutiny and the proliferation of hacking attempts on the financial services sector makes the selection and ongoing validation of third-party software vendors increasingly important to your firm.  Read More

Leveraging Cloud Based IT Services As A Key Strategy For Business Growth

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Spire Investment Partners is an SEC Registered Investment Advisor and a FINRA Licensed Broker Dealer headquartered in McLean, VA. with affiliates throughout the United States. Consistently noted in the Financial Advisor Magazine rankings of top RIAs and enjoys clearing and custody relationships with leading custodian firms across multiple platforms. Spire outsourced their IT to a traditional managed services provider for years but as user needs changed they realized this could be greatly improved upon. With five broker relationships, each with their own platform, and new data sources and applications they needed needed better integration, increased customization of their UI and support for mobile working. After switching to External IT’s Cloud Workplace SPIRE gained:

  • Increased ability to focus on revenue driving business activities, not on IT support
  • Unified access to custodian sites, shared files and applications
  • Enhanced user mobility and a customizable desktop interface
  • Improved compliance controls for security and privacy protection
  • Single resource for business continuity and disaster recovery
  • Ability to differentiate Spire offerings from competitors in order to attract financial advisors and their clients


External IT Checklist for RIAs and Broker-Dealers

Top 12 Features RIAs and Broker-Dealers Should Look for in a Cloud Computing Platform

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Financial services firms such as RIAs and Broker-Dealers operate in a demanding and highly regulated business environment. When seeking a cloud computing provider how do you find a vendor that can help you meet both the statutory obligations and the competitive challenges that you face?

Here’s how. Download this handy checklist that provides an explanation of:

  • Features to look for across key considerations, including security, compliance and integration
  • Why these features matter to RIAs and Broker-Dealers
  • What to look out for when evaluating cloud desktop providers

Download The Checklist

SEC OCIE Cybersecurity Intiative – Analysis

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The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) issued a Risk Alert on April 15, 2014. SEC regulated firms need to implement cybersecurity controls to protect customer data. This alert was developed to provide guidance to registered broker-dealers (BD) and registered investment advisors (RIA) regarding assessment of their respective firms’ cybersecurity preparedness. The Risk Alert is not a request for any information to be provided to the SEC at this point in time.

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