The recent ransomware attacks have jolted up firms to the importance of cyber security.
The WannaCry ransomware attack is an ongoing cyber-attack of the WannaCry ransomware computer worm targeting the Microsoft Windows operating system. The attack started on Friday, 12 May 2017, infecting more than 2.30 lakh computers in 150 countries, with the software demanding ransom payments in the cryptocurrency Bitcoin in 28 languages.
We spoke to a few financial advisers having online presence to understand how they are protecting their business from such an attack.
Talking about the security measures in his online portal mySIPonline.com, Udaipur-based Virendra Ranawat shares how multilevel encryptions and threat management software helped him keep data secure. He says that his company’s servers have a series of Universal Threat Management System (UTMS) in place that protect the data from phishers and hackers. “We have set up firewalls so that no spam mails reach our staff. Another security measure is using the Https server, which has multi-level encryption of data, making it impossible for hackers to access information,” he says.
Mumbai-based advisor Kunal Bajaj of Clearfunds.com feels that by using the original windows software and keeping the auto update feature on, many advisors can protect themselves from loss of data.
Explaining the security of data at Clearfunds.com Kunal says, “All our servers are on Linux and since the malware has attacked only windows based systems, our data is secure. In addition, all the packages we installed have been security audited and the data we exchange with clients are heavily encrypted. Even the client data is stored in an encrypted manner.”
While the ransomware attack has affected many industries so far, fund houses and distributors claim that they have largely been safe. In fact, V. Ganesh, CEO Karvy Computershare assured about the safety of their data. “We work on virtual network which means that our desktops do not have a local hardware and hence downloading an email would not impact us to that extent. We have used filters and various anti-spam measures for our emails so that spam mail gets detected. We have also communicated with our staff not to open suspicious mails,” he says.
In addition, many firms have installed the security patch update released by Microsoft to shield them from various ransomware.
When asked if distributors will be affected by the attack, Ganesh says, “I do not think distributors would be impacted by this. If distributors lose investor information, they can reload all the information from Karvy or any other Registrar & Transfer agent.”
Here are some suggestions for IFAs to ensure cyber security.
- Set up firewalls
- Encrypt the data
- Store in cloud servers
- Use only original software
- Use Universal threat management systems
- Always do a security audit of a software you install
- Never open mails from suspicious sources