RIA Compliance and Practice Management Blog

Cybersecurity Tips for Protecting Your RIA Firm's Network and Devices

Posted by RIA in a Box

Nov 9, 2021 2:43:41 PM

RIA firm cybersecurity physical technology devices

Unfortunately, hackers or other malicious actors have multiple ways to access your firm's sensitive data. It’s important for any business to know how to keep bad actors out, but it’s especially important for registered investment adviser ("RIA") firms due to the sensitive nature of the data you handle. 

RIA firms face three main pillars of cybersecurity threats: people, technology, and vendors. In this blog post, we explore the threats related to technology, specifically vulnerable devices. 

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Let’s look at a few tips to protect your equipment and your team from cyber threats.

You should already know the importance of using antivirus, anti-malware, and virtual private networks ("VPNs") to secure your computers and other devices against potential cyberattacks. Have you considered how to protect other connected devices, like copiers? 

Often, copiers and printers can be easy prey for cybercriminals to hack into your firm's network. With the rise of remote work due to the pandemic, hackers have increased their use of network scanning tools to search for security gaps in your network, especially in unsuspected devices like copiers and printers. 

When a hacker scans your network, they look for open ports that give them access to the hard drive of the copier or printer and look to view all documents stored there. Hackers could even potentially get into your entire network this way too. Many users and organizations use internet-connected devices without thinking about security, installing firmware updates, or taking into account the implications of leaving their devices on all the time or publicly accessible. This means the taken-for-granted printer or copier can be one of the weakest links in the security of both organizational and home networks.

It’s a common oversight, as many companies only secure their network through their computers. An article from Forbes shares that many companies still do not secure their network printers despite the vulnerabilities.

Small and midsize businesses—especially financial firms—are popular targets for cybercriminals, so it is important to be proactive and take action to secure your network printers.

Tips to Secure Your Printers and Copiers

To ensure your external devices are consistently secured, you should consider doing the following:

  • Make sure your printers are covered by a firewall and network security protocols.
  • Enable data encryption kits.
  • Keep printer software updated.
  • Connect the printer to the network via a VPN.
  • Consider isolating your printers on a local network separate from your computers and disable out-of-network communication.
  • Disconnect or switch off your printer or copier when it's not in use.
  • Implement a user authentication system to prevent unauthorized access and track usage.
  • Disable the device services and features that your employees do not use (like Telnet, FTP, etc.).

Your Cybersecurity is Our Priority

All of the measures we’ve mentioned above play an important role in securing your RIA firm's physical technology assets from devious hackers. If you’re ready to take the next step toward a single solution to your firm’s cybersecurity, schedule a demo with us today.

Learn More About Our Cybersecurity Platform

Topics: RIA Operations, RIA Compliance, RIA Technology

RIA in a Box LLC is not a law firm, investment advisory firm, or CPA firm. RIA in a Box LLC does not provide legal advice or opinions to any party or client. You should always consult your relevant regulatory authorities or legal counsel if applicable.

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