Cybersecurity still worries RIAs the most: Study

Twenty percent of firms say they were victims of a cyberbreach during the past 18 months

Jun 24, 2016 @ 12:50 pm

By Tanvi Acharya

Cyberthreats continue to be the biggest concern for registered investment advisers, with 88% of firms identifying “cybersecurity/privacy/identity theft” as their main worry, according to a new compliance testing survey.

The survey — conducted by the Investment Adviser Association (IAA), ACA Compliance Group and the asset management holding company OMA — also found that anti-money laundering, anti-bribery and anti-corruption concerns are gaining greater importance among RIAs.

The survey showed increased efforts to battle cybersecurity, as the number of firms with formal, written, standalone cybersecurity programs increased by 29% from last year. And over the past 18 months, nearly 20% of the adviser firms were victims of a cybersecurity breach, according to the survey.

Some other areas of concern for the firms were advertising/marketing, custody and fraud prevention.

“The results of our 2016 survey should give investment advisers a strong sense of the compliance areas they may want to focus on,” IAA Assistant General Counsel Sanjay Lamba said in a release. “Our hope is that our findings will assist firms in benchmarking their compliance practices against other firms.”

Most firms have increased their compliance testing, according to the survey, with nearly half of them spending between $100,000 and $500,000 annually on compliance-related costs.

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