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 some retirement plan advisers think Fidelity is invading their turf

InvestmentNews editor Frederick P. Gabriel Jr. and reporter Greg Iacurci talk about this week's cover story that looks at whether Fidelity Investments is stepping on the toes of retirement plan advisers.

Latest news & opinion

Is Fidelity competing with retirement plan advisers?

As the Boston-based mutual fund giant expands the products and services it brings to the retirement market, some financial advisers say the firm is encroaching on their turf.

Gun violence hits investment strategies, sparks political debates with advisers

Screening out weapons companies has limited downside.

Whistleblower said to collect $30 million in JPMorgan case

The bank did not properly disclose that it was steering asset-management customers into investments that would be profitable for JPMorgan Chase.

Social Security underpaid 82% of dually entitled widows and widowers

Agency failed to tell survivors that they could switch to a higher retirement benefit later.

Galvin charges Scottrade with DOL fiduciary rule violations

Action of Massachusetts' top regulator shows states can put teeth into a rule under review by the Trump administration.

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