Everyone is at risk for cyberattacks, but family offices are at a particularly high risk given the wealth they manage. There are many things you can do to keep both your family office and your wealth secure. Implementing cybersecurity measures is an essential component of the process. It is especially important with so many people moving to a remote working environment.
Inventory of Technology and Data
It’s important that you create an inventory of all your family office technology. This includes all computers, phones, tablets, routers, and other devices that are connected to the internet. Following this step will allow you to ensure all devices are updated with the most current software and have the proper encryption in place to protect personally identifiable information and other information that can be exploited. Having a record of this inventory will help you identify all the potential points of attack against your family office, reinforce protection, and keep your technology secure.
Is Your Family Office System Secure?
Next, you want to make sure your family office system is secure by incorporating these four items:
- Your family office should implement and keep updated anti-malware and anti-virus software on your network and IT systems to detect and prevent malicious activity.
- Install encryption software for email that allows senders to encode the information before it’s sent and follow up to make sure the receiver decodes the information after it’s been received.
- Require VPNs (virtual private networks) for all members and employees of your family office. The VPNs must be used if a member needs to remotely access your family office network. The use of public WiFi should be prohibited for accessing anything directly related to your business.
- Backup your IT systems and important information.
Family Office Cybersecurity Policy
When creating a cybersecurity policy, remember that it doesn’t need to be massive, burdensome, and difficult to follow in order to be effective. The goal should be developing a flexible policy, specific to your family office, that’s easy to update as threats evolve. A written cybersecurity policy will educate all members of your family office on what to do and how to act in specific situations. A strong cybersecurity policy should include policies for use on connected devices, social media, passwords, and payment authorization. Implementing these will help keep your family office secure.
Family and Employee Training
Your family office security is only as important as your weakest link. It’s vital that you regularly train and test your employees and family office members on potential cyber threats as well as how to prevent, identify, and respond to them. Some areas of education include phishing email identification and phishing email tests. Providing education allows you to strengthen the security of your family office.
Implementing these essential cybersecurity measures for your family office will increase its security. It’s also important that you don’t set these procedures up and then forget them. Keeping your family office secure is a continuous process that doesn’t end. Cyber threats are a problem that will need to be accounted for, for a long time to come.
If you have questions on keeping your family office secure or if your current measures are strong enough, please contact your Untracht Early advisor.