With the increase in use of technology comes the risk of cyber threats.The recent example is the ransomware WannaCry which started spreading on Friday and quickly spread to more than 100 countries. Once downloaded the ransomware locked down PCs and encrypted data on computers and demanded payments to restore access.
Cybersecurity is a major challenge for the mutual fund industry as fund houses have confidential information of investors and deal with billions of money. Mutual funds are at a risk as they depend on third party services such as payment gateways to execute transactions and other technological support.
We spoke to a few fund houses to understand how they have fortified themselves to deal with such a cyber threat.
Vishal Kapoor, CEO, IDFC MF believes that this is an eye opener for the mutual fund industry which manages close to Rs.20 lakh crore. “Luckily, we do not have to face any problem due to this ransomware attack. However, the industry should be prepared for any such attacks.”
Kapoor said that his company has communicated with their investors suggesting precautionary measures to survive such an attack. The company have also been co-ordinating with experts to protect its systems and processes, adds Vishal.
The head of operations of a large fund house is of the view that the MF industry is proactive in tackling cyber attacks. “On Saturday, we briefed our staff on what needs to be done when they face any cyber attack. We made them understand how they can spot a cyber attack and what measures they should take during such situations. In addition, our IT team has put in place a mechanism to protect confidential information from any potential ransomware attack.”
When asked what are the systems and processes that his company has put in place to mitigate cyber risks, he said that such an information cannot be disclosed considering the sensivity of the issue.
DP Singh, CMO of SBI MF told Cafemutual that his fund house has taken measures to mitigate such risks. “We are well prepared to tackle such attacks. Our IT department has been constantly working to protect confidential information and investment records of our investors.”