Security these days is of the utmost importance. It turns out that because of our small size and also because of out internal significant programming skills, we can actually create an environment that is more secure and we are more aware of the risks and how to monitor them.
We own and maintain our own servers. This is highly unusual for a small firm such as ours. Most advisory companies employ cloud-based servers with databases filled with clients' private data. Cloud based simply means they rent space on some other company's servers, and these servers are accessible via the internet leaving them and your private data more exposed to being stolen. Bigger companies do own their own servers, but because they employ hundreds or thousands of representatives all over the world, again the data has to be cloud based and accessible via the internet creating similar exposures to breaches. Many advisory companies also employ cloud-based CRMs (Customer Relationship Management programs). This means their client data may be on several different clouds, each performing some function (such as financial reporting, appointment maintenance, etc.), and each adding another layer of liability to the security of their clients' data.
By having our own personal network of inhouse servers that do not open a port to the outside world we add a much greater layer of security to the safeguarding of our clients' data. In other words, your data that is stored on our company’s server network is not accessible via the internet except via a virtual private network (VPN). Basically, to steal your data someone would have to jump several layers of 256K encryption after somehow stealing entry to our virtual private network (VPN). So many layers that detection would be highly likely long before anyone could succeed.
The best way to get our clients' data would actually be to break in to our offices and remove the servers, but that would result in the servers automatically shutting themselves down, and again it would take several layers of encryption to break in. This is not to say we can claim 100% security, nobody can, but because we are small and we understand the technologies involved we can create a system that is as safe and personal as it can be given the size and scope of our company.
Then there is that word again… “Personal”. When it comes to security perhaps our very close and personal relationship with each of our clients is our best defensive shield. We recognize our clients not by their account number but by the sound of their voice and how they normally speak. We know who they are and we know what they sound like and what they would likely never ask us to do, such as sending money to a third party.
Together with our clients, we can safe-guard all of our data.
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