Mobile apps and iPads/tablets rank supreme among fund providers in our new Money Management Executive technology survey. The goal among providers in their use of these technologies, they say, is to increase staff efficiency and productivity, enabling greater ease when traveling and making it easier to multi-task when working from home.
With that level of information and convenience, however, comes compliance and security challenges.
"Cybersecutiy is one of the biggest concerns with the SEC within the money management world because regulators want to see that if you're a fund firm you have processes in place that will protect information," says Emily Silva, managing director at Cipperman Compliance Services. In April, the SEC issued a cybersecurity risk alert, saying it would be conducting exams of broker-dealers and RIAs
Here are some compliance and security issues that fund providers - as they increase their use of mobile apps, iPads, Tablets and other technologies to increase efficiency - should consider:
1. Recordkeeping: For iPads and smartphones in particular, everything needs to be recordkept. If doing business on these devices, emails and other communications need to be retained. "All of our corporate mobile devices and tablets are equipped with a mobile device management program that automatically enforces our encryption, passcode protection, and recordkeeping and retention policies," says Mike Forker, chief compliance officer of CLS Investments in Omaha, Neb., which manages $6 billion. "The app also has remediation tools that allow us to remotely wipe the device if it is lost or stolen."
2. Protection of firm networks and information: Certain practices and controls need to be implemented to protect the firm's network and information.
3. Detection of unauthorized activity: Make sure networks are secured and not vulnerable to unauthorized activity. "To ensure our networks are protected, we have three layers of intrusion prevention. If someone tries to breach one of the layers our IT team is immediately notified," Forker explains.
4. Marketing and Advertising: If you are communicating on social media make sure everything is on par with company policy. When presenting to clients with an iPad or laptop, make sure the presentation slides have been reviewed and vetted by the compliance department.
5. Vendors: Hire vendors that help you with tasks related to setting up iPads and phones, make sure you vet your vendors and that they have stringent security in place.