New 3rd-Party Solution Provides Comprehensive Email Protection for Firms and their Clients
Fidelity Institutional®, the division of Fidelity Investments dedicated to providing technology, solutions and insights to wealth management firms and institutions, has announced access to a new third-party cybersecurity offering provided by SaaS cybersecurity company, Armorblox, to better protect advisors and their end clients’ business email from fraudulent activity. Business email compromise and email account compromise was the top cybercrime reported to the FBI in 2020 in terms of financial loss at approximately $2.1 billion, and this enhanced solution helps address this growing concern across the industry.
Armorblox’s technology analyzes client emails and identifies problematic risk behavior. Armorblox uses advanced algorithms like natural language understanding, machine learning, and other artificial intelligence techniques to analyze thousands of data points and help prevent sophisticated email threats. With this solution, Armorblox can alert advisors of fraudulent emails, helping to protect them and their end clients from future risk.
“A robust cybersecurity program is critical not only to advisors’ business operations, but also to maintaining the trust they have worked so hard to build with their clients,” said Scott Slater, vice president of practice management & consulting, Fidelity Institutional. “Access to his cybersecurity offering allows us to provide even greater value for our advisor clients, while allowing them to provide peace of mind for their end clients.”
According to a recent Fidelity study, 67% of advisors say that the COVID-19 crisis has prompted their firms to revisit and update their cybersecurity protocols regarding using technology virtually, and 40% of advisors say that compliance, risk monitoring, and cybersecurity technology platforms became more valuable during the COVID-19 crisis. Fidelity’s 2021 Investor Insights Study shows that more than half (58%) of advised investors said they would switch financial advisors if there was any report of cybercrime or security breaches into customer accounts at their advisory firm.
Advisor outsourcing has also increased over the past three years. Roughly one-quarter (24%) of advisors surveyed by Fidelity outsource IT, tech, platform development, or cybersecurity entirely to third-party firms. The primary reason for outsourcing IT, tech, platform development, or cybersecurity is due to a lack of internal expertise in this area (46%) followed by a desire for optimized overall firm efficiency or productivity (37%), better cost effectiveness (33%) and reduced risk to the firm (32%). Sixty-nine percent of advisors successfully outsourced IT, tech, platform development, or cybersecurity, citing that it saved the firm time, helped optimize efficiency, and resulted in excellent service quality.
“Financial advisors are continuously faced with email fraud that targets humans and workflows rather than any security system,” said DJ Sampath, co-founder and CEO at Armorblox. “By understanding the context of these emails like a human would, Armorblox protects users from potential risk like the loss of money or sensitive data. Our work with Fidelity strives to provide greater benefit to the advisor community and their end clients.”
Fidelity believes in making strong investments in technology enterprise-wide, leveraging its scale to develop new capabilities that help meet the distinct needs of each of its clients. Securing access to this cybersecurity offering allows Fidelity to deepen existing client relationships. For more information, advisors can contact their Fidelity relationship manager.