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Interconnectivity: A Growing Cybersecurity Threat

By Katie Sloane | Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

In an interconnected world, there is a trade-off between enjoying limitless information at our fingertips and threats that are just one click away. Most of us have become so accustomed to being plugged in, that we forget the world is simultaneously plugging in to us as well.

The global evolution of cybercrime continues to push boundaries and raise the bar for technology innovation and advanced security solutions. Indicating the evolving regulatory landscape, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)'s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) announced back in 2014 that it planned to inspect the cybersecurity preparedness of over 50 registered broker-dealers and investment advisers. In 2015, their examinations will continue across the financial services industry, and firms are locking down security practices in advance of these inquiries. Additionally, in Asia, the Singapore Personal Data Protection Act governs the collection, use, and disclosure of personal data.

This increase in regulation, threats and breaches is at a steady incline. Not only have hackers and their methods grown in sophistication, but they have also reached new corners of the globe, beyond Europe, North America, South America and Asia, to name a few. According to a recent report conducted this past December, there are 3.025 billion active Internet users around the globe and growing. Other milestone statistics reported: 

  • Worldwide social media users exceeded two billion in August 2014;

  • Universal penetration of mobile phones surpassed 50% last September;

  • The quantity of active mobile connections passed the entire world’s population this past December.

With the internet of things growing every day, we foresee an increase in the number and severity of cybercrime tactics, mobile devices progressively being targeted and new capabilities as well as threats. From a global perspective, security is no longer just a surface list to check off and file away for archiving's sake. Building strong foundations upon robust security policies, processes and controls should be a focal point at the core of any firm’s operations, start-up or established. Despite the variance of currencies and languages from one country to the next, information remains king and is critical to protect. It is extremely valuable to have a global knowledge of information security policies as firms expand their business operations and client bases around the world.

Additional Resources:

Visit our Hedge Fund Cybersecurity Info Center

Photo Credit: Eze Castle Integration

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