There’s nothing like driving on an empty gas tank due to a ransomware attack to etch the importance of cybersecurity on the American mind, as drivers from Louisiana to New Jersey learned last year.
Unfortunately, ransomware risk has only increased in 2022, along with other lesser-known threats such as data leaks up the supply chain – a risk so significant that industry-leading wealth management cybersecurity firm Entreda acquired Privva, a provider of cyber risk assessment tools that analyze third-party vendors, in the fourth quarter of 2021.
Since its acquisition in mid-2020 by regtech giant Smarsh, Entreda continued its robust growth trend, operating as an autonomous subsidiary under CEO and founder Sid Yenamandra, meeting the cybersecurity needs of the wealth management industry, anticipating new developments and continually updating its products in response to new threats.
We spent time with Mr. Yenamandra recently to ask about the status of the Privva integration and the 2022 outlook for cybersecurity in wealth management.
WSR: Give us an update on how things have been going with the Privva acquisition, now that it has been completed – What are the new capabilities or solutions that the company has brought to Entreda’s customers, and how has the response been among customers?
Yenamandra: We’re proceeding smoothly with Privva’s onboarding process, thanks to a head start from our two years of strategic partnership prior to the acquisition. Entreda and Privva teams are working through integration activities in sales, marketing, engineering and customer success to maximize client experience.
Privva’s extensive vendor analysis capabilities position Entreda as a unified, market-leading cybersecurity compliance and risk mitigation platform for wealth management firms and other regulated industries.
Prior to the acquisition, Entreda provided third-party risk mitigation capabilities, but Privva’s best-in-class software raises our product offering to a level unmatched in the industry with an easy-to-use interface, enterprise grade reporting and data integration capabilities.
WSR: 2021 was a year of high-profile cyber breaches, with cyber criminals responsible for disrupting everything from the energy markets, to meat supplies, to financial services. Do you believe cybercrimes are only going to keep increasing in 2022, and if so, what are the top forms of cybercriminal behavior that wealth management firms and their financial advisors will likely face?
Yenamandra: 2022 will see new heights in cybercrime as firms continue to utilize fully remote or hybrid work environments, requiring access to sensitive data regardless of geography, which leaves a firm’s data more at risk than ever from cyberthieves. The top three cyber threats this year for wealth management are:
- Ransomware. Wealth management firms collect highly sensitive, valuable client data – a prime target for ransomware. Our Unify platform addresses this risk with capabilities including end point risk mitigation, cyber education and simulated phishing, network vulnerability testing and remediation and data backup monitoring.
- Supply chain and vendor risk. Our acquisition of Privva was in part due to their comprehensive solutions for the escalating supply chain risk to wealth management firms. As firms grow, increased size forces them to rely on their suppliers to protect their data. In addition, regulators recommend firms periodically review their vendors’ risk and controls.
- Zero-day vulnerability and related attacks. Cyberthieves often exploit zero-day vulnerabilities and implement related vulnerability attacks. As the world discovers new software vulnerabilities that hackers have exploited or may attempt to exploit, organizations must vigilantly guard their data and continually monitor for exposures. We anticipate increased demand in 2022 for our dark web monitoring service, which assists firms in securing and monitoring their data.
WSR: If you could advise every chief information security officer across the wealth management space to invest in three key cybersecurity initiatives this year, what would they be?
Yenamandra: Any financial advisory startup must implement certain cybersecurity basics, but most wealth management firms are seasoned at the basics and need to address cybercrime trends in 2022, and for that I recommend firms invest in the prevention and mitigation of the three risks described above: ransomware awareness and protection, vendor risk management and zero-day and known vulnerability exploits.
Julius Buchanan, Contributing Editor at Wealth Solutions Report, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org