In the realm of financial advice, where client trust and data security are paramount, understanding and implementing robust cybersecurity measures is not just a technical necessity; it’s a cornerstone of client service.
Let’s embark on a journey of empowerment, where cybersecurity isn’t a looming threat but a testament to your commitment to client safety and trust. Your website, as a primary point of interaction with clients, needs to be more than just visually appealing – it must be a secure, resilient hub for client interactions and transactions.
In this post, we’ll navigate through the nuanced landscape of digital risks, not to spread fear, but to arm you with the knowledge and tools to uphold and enhance the trusted advisor-client relationship.
The spectrum of digital risks
It’s not just about the inconvenience of your site going offline. Cyber threats can be more insidious, from malware that stealthily infects your visitors’ devices to under-the-radar intrusions like clickjacking, which can jeopardise your clients’ safety.
These aren’t just nuisances; they can erode the trust you’ve built and have real-world consequences. Understanding these risks helps you appreciate why proactive security measures are essential—not just a safety net but a quality standard for your digital presence.
Guardianship and accountability
If your website is built on a basic platform such as Wix or GoDaddy, it’s a bit like living in a managed property – the fundamental security is part of what you pay for. But when your website is on a platform like WordPress or if you’ve gone the route of a custom build, you’re in charge of the upkeep.
You must ensure there’s a caretaker – whether it’s you, an employee, or an external service. If you’re not paying someone to keep an eye on the digital health of your website, you might find it deteriorating over time. A neglected site can quickly turn into a liability, with performance issues that frustrate users and security gaps that attract cyber predators.
Here are the practices to adopt for a healthy and secure online presence:
- Complex passwords and 2FA: Administrators should ban simple passwords and require two-factor authentication. It’s a one-two punch: a secret knock and a proof of identity that safeguard the entry to your website’s control panel.
- Stay current with updates: Just like a car, your CMS needs regular tune-ups. Outdated systems are a beacon for trouble. Regular updates mean you’re always equipped with the latest defences against threats.
- Resilient backup strategies: Offsite backups are your safety net, ensuring that if something does go wrong, you can bounce back without exorbitant costs or extended downtime. Think of it as your business continuity insurance.
- SSL certificates: An SSL certificate encrypts data between your site and its users. It’s the difference between sending a postcard and a sealed letter – privacy is paramount, and SSL is your seal.
- Continuous learning or delegation: Security is dynamic, so you need to either keep abreast of the changes or engage services like The Cyber Collective or your information technology support service who can be across the detail for you. This isn’t an area for the set-and-forget mentality; it’s about continuous improvement and vigilance.
By internalising these practices, you’re not just protecting your site; you’re demonstrating to your clients that their safety and your integrity are your top priorities. A secure, well-maintained website reflects a business that’s thoughtful and responsible – a true hallmark of excellence in the digital age.
If you’re not sure if these are in place, you should contact your website developer and confirm.
If you’re not sure who that is and you aren’t paying for a managed service like Wix or GoDaddy, you probably have a problem.
In the spirit of taking proactive steps towards better cybersecurity, consider starting with UpGuard’s free webscan service. While its capabilities are naturally limited due to including a no-cost option, it serves as an excellent initial gauge of your website’s security posture. UpGuard can provide valuable insights that can inform your discussions with IT support teams, helping you pinpoint areas that may need attention. That being said, whilst scoring an ‘A grade’ or ‘B grade’ on UpGuard is a positive sign, it’s not a foolproof seal of safety. Cybersecurity is a complex, ever-evolving field, and an ‘A’ today doesn’t guarantee immunity from tomorrow’s new threats. Use UpGuard as a starting point, not as a conclusive assurance, and always stay engaged with ongoing security measures and expert advice.
Let’s keep our digital ecosystems healthy and our client relationships secure. Proactive cybersecurity is not just a strategy; it’s a commitment to excellence and trust.
Where to next?
If you’re looking to start again with your advice website, we can help! We build visually great, functionally unmatched, and always up-to-date and secure websites tailored for financial advisers!