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FPA releases new cyber security guidance to members

cyber security 391
By Keeli Cambourne
15 March 2023 — 1 minute read

With increasing threats from cyber attacks across the globe, the FPA has released new guidance to members about cyber security.

Financial advisers fell under the category of ‘critical infrastructure’, according to the Australian Cyber Security Centre. Past cases of cyber crime demonstrated these types of organisations, alongside government bodies, were at higher risk of online breaches. With cyber attacks costing Australians close to $29 billion each year and 75% of cyber crimes resulting in a loss of funds or data, the partner reiterated the importance of having adequate risk management. 

In May 2022, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) warned the financial advice sector of a “heightened cyber-threat environment” and urged financial agencies, including financial advisers, to have adequate cyber security systems in place to protect against unauthorised access.

The new Financial Planning Association (FPA) interactive guidance is located on its member portal and will assist members through the basic steps of adding cyber security safeguards to their business.

It covers topics including why cyber security is important, regulatory and legal obligations, examples of advice-related cyber security issues, practical mitigation steps, and links to additional resources and webinars.

It will be the first in a series of guides on cyber security and privacy principles to help members meet both their ethical obligations to protect clients and their regulatory

“Cyber risks are an imminent threat to businesses, the success of individual financial planning practices, and the security of clients’ financial information,” says FPA chief executive officer, Sarah Abood.

“However, cybersecurity can be overwhelming for many financial planners with confusing software and technology jargon.

“It is therefore critical that the FPA takes the lead in safeguarding advice practices and their sensitive client data. This guide will be a critical first step in helping financial planning firms become more confident in protecting their businesses from cybersecurity threats.”

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