- February 1, 2016: Vol. 3, Number 2

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The Criminals in the Computer: Cyber security has become the imperative of the day for financial firms, and the SEC is putting on the squeeze

by Anna Robaton

Financial advisers spend a good deal of time fretting over risk when it comes to their clients’ money matters. But when it comes to protecting their own firms and clients from cyber crime, many have underestimated the threat in recent years.

News of cyber crime is now a regular occurrence, but much of the media coverage on the issue has focused on hacks of large and sophisticated companies and government agencies. Last year alone brought news of cyber crimes perpetrated against the Internal Revenue Service, J.P. Morgan Chase, and giant health insurer Anthem, just to name a few headline-grabbing hacks.

It is little wonder then that many financial advisers, particularly small, independent firms, have had a false sense of security — or a feeling of powerlessness given their limited resources — when it comes to the growing threat of cyber crime. Some have regarded it as a problem for the big guys, although that stance is quickly changing thanks in part to stepped-up

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