When it comes to hedge fund cyberattacks, bad actors don’t discriminate between large and small funds, and the damage that successful attacks inflict upon the industry is continuing to grow.  According to our 2022 Hedge Fund Cybersecurity Trends Report, more than half (51%) of all hedge fund practitioners polled reported that the time and effort required to resolve a successful attack has increased during the last two years.  Interestingly, only about 22 percent of firms surveyed said the number of successful attacks had risen. 

So the obvious question: how do hedge fund managers prevent a successful attack? 

There are a lot of moving parts and a great deal of risk tied to your firm’s IT and cybersecurity procedures. But, by taking it one step at a time, you can create and sustain a cybersecurity program that fits your firm’s needs today, future proofs for your needs tomorrow, and protects your people, systems, and information from every angle.   

Here’s what you should be doing to evaluate your cybersecurity posture today: 

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Inventory Important Assets

With ransomware on the rise, cybercriminals aren’t just looking for information they can sell for a quick buck – they’re also looking for information they can sell back to you. Once you understand bad actors’ motives for attacking firms, you can identify the information you need to start protecting. Customer and employee social security numbers, financial data, and contact information are all valuable commodities to cybercriminals. Company data, like billing and operation information, is also valuable.   

Once you have identified your firm’s most important resources, you can start forming a plan to protect those assets.  

Look at Worst-Case Scenarios

During a breach, time is of the essence, meaning you’ll want to take action as quickly as possible. Thinking about worst-case scenarios might seem like overkill, but it’s a great way to ensure you’re prepared for every situation.  

For example, what if your customer’s information is stolen, or if your company operations are shut down for hours or even days? For each scenario, you should have a defined plan of action for your firm. How will you contact clients? Who will you inform within the company if there’s a breach? How would you handle a ransomware situation? These are commonly referred to as tabletop exercises, and your team should be running them annually at a minimum. 

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You should also be taking steps to merge your business IT and security operations teams. This gives your organization more protection and agility to respond quickly when vulnerabilities and threats arise. Your peers are doing just this, as should you!  

Train Your Employees

People make mistakes, meaning they’re an easy target for bad actors. Make your employees part of your cybersecurity team by training them in your firm’s cybersecurity policies and best practices. This can include knowing how to create a strong password, identifying and avoiding phishing attempts, recognizing unsafe websites, properly storing company and client assets, and more. 

This might mean your firm needs to develop cybersecurity awareness training, install a spam filter and anti-malware software, and initiate Endpoint Detection & Response services. 

Take Precautionary Action

Taking preventative measures before your firm is threatened can save you time, money, and sleep. Preventive actions like backing up important client and company data and having a cyber insurance policy can help lessen the blow of any future cyber-attacks, while hiring a trusted IT and cybersecurity service can prevent them before they happen.  

Stay Up to Date on the Latest Threats

Cybersecurity is constantly adapting to the latest cyber threats. From staying compliant with cybersecurity governance policies to vetting third-party vendors for potential risk, managing your own cybersecurity can be a lot of work, especially when you’re new to the game. 

Using a dedicated IT and cybersecurity firm to watch your organization’s back can go a long way to protect your assets. Our virtual CISOs are always here to work with you to provide guidance and keep your up to date. With services that prepare your team (while also anticipating and remediating vulnerabilities in your firm’s cyber defense before they escalate), your firm will be better positioned to ward off future attack attempts, saving you time, money, and stress down the road. 

Interested in learning more about Agio’s hybrid IT and cybersecurity services? Contact us at 877.780.2446 or fill out our contact form to get in touch. 

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