A lack of security technology threatens innovation and impedes retail investment.
The private markets are seeing an influx of interest from retail investors, but a lack of security technology and practices are threatening innovation, which could hinder private market transformation forbodes Alin Bui, CSO & co-founder of Anduin.
While private funds are thrilled by growing interest in alternative investments from retail investors, they are not quite ready to welcome these new entrants. Why? Because cybersecurity is lacking in the private market sector, and in financial services, that poses a serious business risk.
Case in point: financial services firms are 300 times more likely than other industries to be targeted for cyberattacks, according to Boston Consulting Group research. Despite this, thousands of private funds continue to handle their security via paper and manual methods, creating weak points that bad actors can exploit.
Cyberattacks come in various shapes and forms. For example, attackers commonly employ social engineering tactics, which play a role in over 80% of cyberattacks. The more human touchpoints in workflows, the more exposed the organization is. Private equity firms are prime targets for social engineering ploys because they rely heavily on staff to perform paperwork and frequent document handoffs. This vulnerability becomes even more pronounced at larger firms with a bigger headcount.
Beyond the human element, private market firms also often depend on manual verifications or even automated workflows on legacy software to skate by but are putting themselves at risk. The industry is hit with thousands of attacks daily, and outdated software simply does not meet current security standards.
See More: Nine Tips for Scalable Data Masking for Growing Companies
Security failures can have dire consequences for private market firms, including:
Hackers may approach delicately from different directions, but they nearly always target specific assets and activities:
Security strategies fall into two buckets: prevention and detection. Prevention attempts to limit the number of breaches and overall risk, while detection allows you to mitigate the severity of successful attacks. Reputation is everything in the private markets, so prevention and fast mitigation of any breach are paramount. Here are a few things to start thinking about as you strengthen your security posture.
In the coming decade, private market investments will become a staple in many more personal portfolios. An industry-wide security framework would help bridge protocols and reduce vulnerable points in transfers between investment firms and regulators. Security standardization will let automated solutions pipe data across preset corridors with less risk of interception or corruption.
Automation platforms will also help by replacing the gamut of outdated processes, from subscription documents to capital calls and wire transfer identity verification.
By nature, private funds are focused on the future – and the future includes retail investors. Proving they are secure will only attract more investors. The funds that rise to the cybersecurity challenge now, will also be able to scale and onboard new investor classes to become even bigger, more automated, highly competitive, and better protected.
How are you ensuring that your security technology is up to date and ready to scale? Share with us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
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Co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer , Anduin
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