TD 2013 Live!: By overlooking security holes, advisers put clients at risk

Speaking at TD Ameritrade's annual conference, security experts cite unsecured servers and lame passwords as possible flaws

Jan 30, 2013 @ 3:37 pm

By Dan Jamieson

Advisers are overlooking potentially huge holes in their data security.

From having unsecured servers to using weak passwords, advisers could be putting clients at risk, according to several security experts speaking Wednesday at TD Ameritrade Holding Corp.'s annual conference in San Diego.

“Have you locked down your server?” asked Andrew Gluck, president of Advisors4Advisors Inc., a service provider for registered investment advisers. “It should be in a server room behind lock and key. Employees should not be able to get into the server room.”

“If I can get [physical] access to your server, I can get into it in the time it takes to boot up,” said Brian Edelman, chief executive of Financial Computer Services Inc.

Advisers also should have a written data security policy and get employees to sign it, Mr. Gluck said. Remote access to client data by employees through their own laptops or tablets can be a problem when they leave, he added.

“Buy them their phones so it's a company phone,” he added. “When they terminate employment, you can take it and do what you want with it.”

Advisers should be sure that their phones have applications that will remotely wipe the devices clean if they are ever lost or stolen, Mr. Gluck and Mr. Edelman said.

They also reminded advisers not to send sensitive client information via e-mail and to beef up the strength of passwords. They recommended password managers from LastPass or RoboForm that produce and remember hard-to-crack passwords.

Strong passwords don't do any good if computers are infested with malware that tracks keystrokes, Mr. Edelman added, so advisers and their employees should avoid accessing or downloading suspect sites and software.

“Hackers really do look for the easiest targets,” Mr. Edelman said.

0
Comments

What do you think?

View comments

Recommended for you

Sponsored financial news

Featured video

INTV

Why broker-dealers are on a roll

Deputy editor Bob Hordt and senior columnist Bruce Kelly discuss last year's bounce-back for IBDs.

Latest news & opinion

SEC advice rule may give RIAs leg up over broker-dealers

Experts say advisers will be able to point to their role as fiduciaries as a differentiator in the advice market.

Brokers accept proposed SEC rule on who can call themselves an adviser

Some say the rule will clear up investor confusion, but others say the SEC didn't go far enough.

Cadaret Grant acquired by private-equity-backed Atria

75-year-old owner Arthur Grant positions the IBD for the 'next 33 years.'

SEC advice rule seeks to tighten reins on brokers

The proposed rule puts new restrictions on brokers, but it is still unclear how strongly the SEC is clamping down.

SEC advice rule hearing updates

Commission says a lot of work ahead, public will have 90 days to comment.

X

Hi! Glad you're here and we hope you like all the great work we do here at InvestmentNews. But what we do is expensive and is funded in part by our sponsors. So won't you show our sponsors a little love by whitelisting investmentnews.com? It'll help us continue to serve you.

Yes, show me how to whitelist investmentnews.com

Ad blocker detected. Please whitelist us or give premium a try.

X

Subscribe and Save 60%

Premium Access
Print + Digital

Learn more
Subscribe to Print