Financial advisers being able to ensure their client's information is secured will give them a comparative advantage in 2016 and beyond, Midwinter believes.
The financial planning software provider said client, Australian Financial Services Licence, practice, and adviser information security was vital as there is a high volume of sensitive online information stored in financial planning software.
Midwinter's managing director, Julian Plummer, said "in the past few years there have been several high profile cases of IT security failures within the industry and they are due to both policy breaches and technical failures".
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"…Those advisers who are able to ensure their clients that their information is well secured and managed against malicious attacks will find themselves with a comparative advantage over their competitors in the long-term," he said.
Midwinter said it had employed IT security consultant, Zirilio, to help assess, monitor, and manage their IT security posture.
Commenting, Zirilio's executive managing director, Tim Dole said there was a noticeable increase in the sophistication and stealthy nature of attacks within the Asia Pacific region.
"A significant proportion of the malicious activity originates as untargeted activity, gaining access to organisations (e.g. via Malware) with the sole purpose of finding data/information of value," Dole said. "Often, once this information is garnered it is then silently replicated to malicious servers on the internet, the information is sorted and classified, with the information either sold or utilised for a targeted attack.
"Typically, we see organisations where data of value was stolen to be subjected to targeted attacks within seven days of initial infection."