ProEquities introduces cybersecurity to protect even the least tech-savvy advisers

Developed by Entreda, the platform will ensure every computer and mobile device is secure when accessing client data

Jun 14, 2018 @ 5:04 pm

By Ryan W. Neal

ProEquities, an independent RIA and broker-dealer hybrid with $16 billion in client assets, is rolling out a new cybersecurity platform to improve protection for the firm's 700 financial advisers.

(More: Fintech leaders address adoption and integration)

Developed in a partnership with Entreda, a risk mitigation and compliance software provider, ProEquities will install software on every computer and mobile device ProEquities' representatives use to access client data.

The software will ensure ProEquities' data security standards are met, such as requiring that the latest anti-virus protections, firewalls and system updates are in place. It also requires the computer or mobile device to use data encryption, a passcode, a secure internet connection and screen locks.

Though financial services firms are aware they are increasingly targeted by hackers, many firms rely on a patchwork cybersecurity system that cobbles together several different vendors, according to Steve Youhn, ProEquities vice president and chief compliance officer.

By going with a single vendor that handles everything, even non-tech-savvy advisers can be confident they are protected.

"Our guys are wealth advisers. They shouldn't have to be Geek Squad employees too," Mr. Youhn said. "You can't pick up a newsletter, you can't look online and not read about hacks or fraudsters getting into accounts. Advisers want peace of mind, want to know they have the best protections in place. A lot of them don't know how to do that."

Entreda's technology features backend monitoring that will inform ProEquities within minutes if a computer or device isn't in compliance or if the software is removed.

Mr. Youhn said his firm is setting a new standard for cybersecurity, which he said is "absolutely, hands down" the greatest threat to financial services.

"Nothing is even a close second," he said.

Other risk management and compliance companies applauded ProEquities' efforts.

(More: Fintech firms to use dark web to improve cybersecurity for advisers)

"This is really a step in the right direction," said Anupam Sahai the vice president of product management at Cavirin.

However, there are still risks involved with the end investor, he said.

"One challenge will be to ensure that their platform effectively protects the end user whether on a desktop, laptop, or smartphone," Mr. Sahai said. "There are a lot of moving parts and operating systems, and the worst that can happen is to create a false sense of protection."

Mr. Youhn acknowledged that ProEquities' platform won't touch end investors, but it will at least give them confidence that their reps are safe and secure when accessing data.

"The last thing we want to do, the last thing any adviser wants to do, is reach out to customers and tell them, 'my computer was hacked and they got information on your account,'" he said. "We're doing everything we can to put our reps in a position where [they] never have to make those calls."


What do you think?

View comments

Recommended for you

RIA Data Center

Use InvestmentNews' RIA Data Center to filter and find key information on over 1,400 fee-only registered investment advisory firms.

Rank RIAs by

Featured video


How interest rates have affected different types of insurance

Social media and engagement editor Scott Kleinberg and reporter Greg Iacurci discuss a common theme in this week's popular insurance stories.

Latest news & opinion

Joe Duran has a game plan, and anyone can play

The CEO of United Capital built a formula for holistic financial planning that any firm can tap into — for a price.

LPL video about private equity looks like a swipe at Cetera

Recruiting video warns about potential consequences for advisers when a PE firm buys a broker-dealer.

Ladenburg chairman Phillip Frost steps down

The SEC charged Frost with fraud earlier this month.

Envestnet Tamarac partners with Schwab, TD on digital account openings

Auto-filling documents designed to make onboarding more efficient for RIAs and more convenient for clients.

Wells Fargo plans to cut staff up to 10% within next three years

Bank is struggling to cut spending amid regulatory fines and higher legal costs stemming from scandals.


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 It'll help us continue to serve you.

Yes, show me how to whitelist

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


Subscribe and Save 60%

Premium Access
Print + Digital

Learn more
Subscribe to Print