DB Wood Team

17th November, 2023

Blog, DB News

Keeping things safe in the digital era

This week’s blog focuses on how we protect our clients against fraud and cyber crime in particular! Our insurance team often quote the statistics that sit behind this increasing problem, and worryingly, 46% of UK businesses have experienced a cyber attack in the last 12 months, a 400% increase in just 3 years. It is therefore vitally important that we take cyber seriously to protect both your data and your money.

Clients too are asking questions more frequently around our security and those of our investment partners and trusted third parties. We thought it therefore appropriate to update readers about some of the measures we have in place to safeguard the assets we look after.

Without giving the game away…. there are several key layers to our cyber protection. The first is there to mitigate risk, namely the effective internal company training and procedures we have in place. The second is the IT systems and support we have to filter out and solve problems should they come about, and the third, is a comprehensive insurance policy to offer immediate response should something evade the first two.

The first stage of protection starts with training of all our staff. 90% of cyber-crimes are still delivered as phishing attacks – we’ve all had those emails asking us to click a link to win a prize haven’t we – so knowing what to look for, and how to avoid it, is probably the most important point of all.  In addition, we have two layers of software designed to identify threatening emails and web links, all of which aim to isolate attacks and defend our systems.

It felt like the world was a bit easier when we just had to type a password in. Today, in order to access our back office externally, we must have our phone and laptop together to get access to any data. This is a precaution just in case one of our devices is stolen making it very difficult for the individual or organisation to access anything. In addition, because all our data is backed up and stored in the cloud, our IT support can quickly isolate and restrict access.

Having dedicated IT support is another layer of protection. Our support team prepare our devices and people, recommend, and implement additional security protocols when needed, and they have a large monitoring team which we can access 24/7 if we sense there is a problem that needs further assessment. As of yet we haven’t found that we need to, though it’s important to know they are there if we do. We also run our own internal threats to see if our team can spot the intrusion, how quickly they react, and what processes they follow to notify our IT team.

Finally the third layer of protection is having effective insurance cover in place. Naturally it’s in the insurer’s interest to cover companies who are lower risk, and so quite reassuringly they conduct an independent cyber report on all our devices in order to highlight system vulnerabilities and immediate threats. In our last report, conducted in March 2023, we scored 93, significantly above the required 80 hurdle to obtain cover.

Overall, we feel we have a strong level of cyber protection across multiple layers. As with all things, we are where we are today through constant evaluation and development of our systems and processes. It’s all part of the job of keeping assets and data safe and secure. Another important point is that in terms of your investments, we don’t hold the money directly, so this acts as a further line of protection. Generally we feel very confident that the measures we have in place provide a robust home for your assets and data, though as with all threats, they evolve, so we will ensure we never rest on our laurels.

In other news, as inflation continues to fall, economic data is generally getting weaker, which is starting to help our portfolios as we have been referring to all year.  Our blog in two weeks’ time, will focus on November performance. Until then, have a great weekend, and keep your passwords safe!