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FINRA updates with a cybersecurity alert COVID-19

FINRA Announces Security Measures for Financial Firms

Like other businesses, firms have taken measures to mitigate COVID-19 related risks. These include,  employees and associates working remotely or video conferencing to maintain efficiency while social distancing policies are in place.

Although focusing on the health of members and associate is important, it is also imperative to be aware of the cyber security vulnerabilities that are manifesting as well.

As workers accustom themselves to remote processes, financial firms should take steps to protect themselves and their clients from an influx cyber-attacks on home networks.

FINRA Alert

In March 2020 FINRA released a notice that firms should take appropriate measures to protect client information on business and home networks as well as mobile devices and tablets.

Cyber Attacks On The Rise

Cyber attacks related to financial relief checks went up in the last few weeks, while hackers continue to target vulnerable individuals.

Cyber security firm Check Point reported an average of 14,000 coronavirus-related cyberattacks per day in the past week, six times the average daily attacks in the second half of March. Additionally, this recorded number shot up to 20,000 daily attacks since April 7.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) related scams are growing exponentially as job loss, social distancing and unsecure home networks provide the conditions for hackers. Phishing scams, investment fraud, and fraudulent CDC emails are just a few ways cyber attackers are leveraging the virus.

According to a recent article by The Hill, the FBI saw a spike in reported cyber crimes on its Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), as hackers and cyber criminals take advantage of Americans’ move towards primarily online activity.

Home and Office Networks

Establish a secure connection when accessing your firm’s work environment. This can be done by setting up a VPN Virtual (Private Network) or partnering up with a Managed Services Company that can secure your network.

When using a Wi-Fi connection, secure it with security measures like WPA2 or HTTP strict transport security. These measures prevent hackers from accessing your network or infiltrate your site with man-in-the middle cyber-attacks.

Update software and patches regularly. Cloud security and compliance platforms like Workplace, which is used and integrated by Nerds Support as well, automatically run a diagnostics on potential security vulnerabilities on work devices.

Make changes to the user names and passwords of home Wi-Fi routers if they use default user names and passwords.

Always lock your screen when leaving your devices. Whether you are in a shared work environment or alone, it is never a good idea to leave your devices open when unattended and out of sight.

File and back-up your data frequently. For example, Nerds Support backs up all of our client data and store it in an offsite data center that can be accessed through our cloud network. This means that data can never be lost and guarantees all personally identifiable information (PPII) is safe and accessible by the firm.

Common Attacks

Although we’ve gone over COVID-19 related cyber attacks in another blog, we’ll briefly review them here.

Common COVID-19 Cyber Attacks include phishing & vishing scams offering false information or asking for personal information.

Continuity Planning

Understand your firms policies and establish a business continuity plan. In the event of a security breach, an outage, a stolen or lost device, or phishing attack, what steps is your firm taking to remediate the issues?

Contact Information

When using a video conferencing app or service, ensure the appropriate security measures are included in their policies.

Develop a structure for access to sensitive data and systems.

Provide staff with all the necessary contact information. Establish a plan for communication (where and how). Are you communicating through a VoIP system or Video conferencing application?

Assess and Verify

Do not hesitate to alert your IT department or team when confronted with any of the issues we’ve discussed. It is not uncommon for remote workers to overlook these points. Keep constant communication with everyone in your IT team to ensure all protocols are being followed and your systems remain aligned within regulation standards.

If you want a free IT Assessment to verify your systems are secure you can always contact us.

Now is the perfect time to assess your technology. Check if your existing IT is up to standard or consider c0-managed services to strengthen your IT capabilities.

Do you know if the computer you use to access client data is safe? Don’t compromise your firm by leaving security vulnerabilities unchecked.

South Florida Business Journal CIO Technology Awards 2019

Nerds Support Among Fastest Growing Tech Companies

South Florida Business Journal Honors

Nerds Support ranked among the top ten fastest growing companies in South Florida according to the South Florida Business Journal. Almost 200 people attended the South Florida Business Journal’s 2019 Technology Awards on Thursday at the Signature Grand in Davie.

The event recognized the journals’ CIO Awards winners and finalists, coupled with the region’s fastest growing technology companies by percentage revenue growth and dollar revenue growth.
Nerds Support ranked 9th in the region’s fastest growing tech company by percentage revenue growth. SFBJ Editor-in-Chief welcomed the attendees and Master of Ceremonies Tom Hudson, a special correspondent for WLRN, announced the honorees. He had a countdown on how the companies ranked on the list.

Nerd Support is a Miami based managed IT Services Company with two decades of experience working with top financial and accounting firms in the country. The managed IT services company has been recognized by Channel Magazine, South Florida Business journal and Cloud Futures. We specialize in providing services to small and medium size finance and accounting firms.
Scott Richman, the CIO and CEO of the company said he was honored by the ranking and would stay committed to working with his team and deliver services and assistance to small businesses.

Scott South Florida Business Journal CIO Technology Awards 2019

“It’s exciting to get recognized for all our hard work. Hopefully this tell people how passionate we are to the work we do,” he said.

Richman also said the company’s growth is attributed to its focus on providing  IT support for account firms and IT solutions for finance and the financial services industry. Nerd Support specializes in cloud solutions, specifically FINRA approved cloud storage, IT compliance, and IT security.

This award is the latest in a series of awards Nerds Support has received in the last year. Among others won by the company is South Florida business journal’s “Fast 50” celebrating the 50 fastest growing companies in South Florida. As well as CRN’s “Fast Growth 150 list” earlier this year.