In the wake of the Equifax breach, we understand many of our clients are concerned about the security of their financial data. There are many ways to limit the misuse of personal information from the breach, and we encourage clients to stay vigilant in monitoring credit accounts and proactive in setting up the right protections.
At Wescott, we also have a responsibility to protect our clients’ personal and financial information. To assure our clients of our own controls, we’d like to highlight the internal processes and protections that power our approach to data security.
We take both physical and digital security very seriously.
All of our offices are card protected, and all physical client documentation is stored in secured areas.
We also benefit tremendously from our relationship with Duane Morris. Wescott leverages the firm’s robust network infrastructure, security and personnel to ensure our network is under constant monitoring from potential outside threats.
Finally, we have invested in our own secure client portal, myWescottVault. This best-in-class portal allows us to safely gather and maintain clients’ most important documents and reports. Any party accessing a client “vault” must complete two-factor authentication to confirm their identity.
Research continues to show that the weakest security link within any organization is its people – especially as threats like phishing become more and more sophisticated.
That’s why we train our staff on identifying potential threats, recognizing patterns and double (sometimes, triple) checking client transactions and requests. At monthly staff meetings, we review the latest threats and reinforce our protocols.
But we don’t stop there. We also conduct routine and random phishing exercises, employing the latest tactics by hackers to ensure our team correctly identifies and reports suspicious activity – whether that be cyber crime or outright fraud. Our team vigilantly monitors emails, phone calls and requests of all kinds for any signals of an impersonator looking to defraud our clients.
We also ensure that client data managed outside our walls and our network are in the best hands. Most critical is the security of our custodians, who hold the accounts in which your investments reside. At Wescott, we work with the industry’s leading financial custodians, who have access to the latest technologies and superior IT personnel. These institutions continually make significant investments into their security networks to ensure valuable client information is inaccessible to cyber criminals.
We also require all of our vendors – whether they access Wescott’s systems or not – to certify that their network security and protocols meet our standards.
Long before the Equifax breach, data security was a critical priority at Wescott and it will continue to be one. Cyber breaches will no doubt become increasingly sophisticated, so it’s important that both our advisors and clients remain vigilant and stay abreast of the latest precautions.