Financial Advisor Marketing & Technology

Marketing & Technology For Independent Financial Advisors

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Hardware For Protecting Client Data: A Highly Rated And Fun Webinar

Advisors who attended last Friday’s webinar on secure hardware generally gave the session very high ratings.

We managed to have some fun with this very serious topic when we raffled products provided by each of the vendors. Before the session, I wrote down a series of numbers between 1 and 100 and attendees chatted in guesses. (Though I momentarily feared the chat surge might crash the webinar, we averted disaster.)

Seagate donated a Dell Latitude D620 Notebook with a self-encrypting hard drive, which was won by Ross Heart of Heart Capital.

IronKey provided three of it 4 GB USB drives, which were won by Linda Cordoba of John Lyman Wealth Advisors, Mary Rose Sanger of Legacy Capital Partners, and Art Papale of QS, Inc.

Five one-year licenses to Lo-Jack For Laptops were awarded to Gene Gurley of Miller Equity Capital Advisors, Jason Kley of Vector Wealth Management, Susan Burns of Hall & Burns Wealth Management, Cheryl Morhauser of Cheryl Morhauser & Associates, and Adam Mosely of Charles Schwab.

While we normally try to avoid product pitches at the Financial Advisor Webinar Series, presenters were asked to talk about their products because that was the best way to tackle a topic so far afield from wealth management. Judging from the attendee comments, the direct approach worked just fine.

The three presenters each had a different security solution for advisors, but advisory firms probably need all three to begin to create a secure environment for client data.

Seagate’s Joni Clark talked about self-encrypting hard drives that come built into Dell, Lenovo, HP and other PCs and provide encryption without degrading performance. Hardware-based encryption is very different from drives secured by adding software and it is widely regarded as the strongest protection from traditional software attacks because the full drive is always encrypted and the encryption keys never leave the drive.

IronKey’s John Jefferies talked about his company’s secure USB drive that essentially self destructs if someone incorrectly enters a password repeatedly, and it also has a password management program, is waterproof, scans for malware, provides protection against key loggers, and other features.

Absolute Software’s Pam Seale spoke about LoJack for Laptops, a product that can be found at Best Buy and other retail outlets and that is an add-on option for many new computers. If your computer is lost or stolen, not only can police track it down but you can disable the drive remotely.

Join us this Friday, December 11 at 4 ET for our next webinar, when our presenter will be Ben Norquist of Convergent Retirement Plan Solutions. Ben specializes in teaching and training advisors about all aspects of the qualified retirement plan business and is focusing this session on how advisors can talk with clients and prospects about the Roth IRA conversion opportunity. This is the biggest strategic financial decision clients have had to make since the financial crisis. Norquist says that if you do not by the first of the year have a strategy for approaching and advising on a Roth conversion, you’ve probably missed the chance to get it right.

Below are the unedited comments submitted by attendees who were kind enough to fill in our survey and provide feedback about last week's session. Apart from one person who thought the session was “boring” and a couple of advisors who thought it was too technical, attendees appreciated our deep dive into a technology topic that does not get much attention in the trade press because it is so technical.

Here are the comments we received.

· Very good except for audio on the first speaker.

· Excellent. I will be purchasing each presenter's products in the near future.

· Improve it……make me a door prize winner :-)

· Very practical solutions to an important problem.

· It was great. Thanks for the opportunity to win things we can use in the office.

· Please create a compliance security checklist and the appropriate devices/software to implement compliance. Also cover using and securing Blackberrys and netbooks.

· Great information!

· Very Good

· Very good and informative to the risk and solutions in insurance and advisor maket.

· Very good, Needed more time to address all questions. Thanks

· Very timely info and very key to my needs of secure devices.

· Too long of commercial at the beginning.

· Good overview of a complicated subject. I didn't realize how much we were missing

· Would not accept access code when called in by phone.

· It was great!

· How can I think of any improvement when I hear my name winning a new laptop?! Fantastic! Seriously, it was a great topic that I have very little knowledge in but concerns with. (Guessing many other advisors as well.)

· Good but too technical. Not sure how the USB drive works. Do you put all your data on it? Just your secure data? Isn't that then easier to lose? Was really looking for a way to secure my existing data. The Seagate drive seemed to be the only automatic option.

· Great overview of three relevant products. I appreciate that the presenters offered lots of info while sticking to their allotted times.

· Improvement: put slides on AP website, not just a bit.ly link

· Lots of great information.

· Would have given 5s had there been more advisor-centric security discussions, such as responsibilities and notification requirements after security breaches and/or lost/stolen equipment.

· This was a great one. Highly relevant. Thank you.

· It was great, even though a lot of it went over my head. I'm not a techy.

· This was a very useful and informative webinar. Safety of client information is a top concern and this gave me some good info for follow-up

· This webinar seemed to be for IT folks who serve our industry or for advisors that really enjoy diving into the tech stuff. It was for the average advisor as I hoped it would be.

· Volume of the first presenter was very low. Everyone else was fine.

· I did not know that there were so many options for encryption

· Keep it simple -without the long speeches.

· It was not interesting – very boring.

· Excellent information, very eye-opening. Nice touch with the giveaways.

· Great info, rapidly communicated. Good speakers. Nice to have several speakers to fill the time!
These webinars are constantly improving. Many thanks.

· It was very good, but honestly over my head. I am going to share the information with our IT Manager.

One Response to “Hardware For Protecting Client Data: A Highly Rated And Fun Webinar”

  1. December 8th, 2009 at 9:57 am

    Micah McCann says:

    I think many advisors are still trying to play catch up with regards to data security and the new regulations on client privacy. These last two webinars did a great job at building awareness around these topics.

    There certainly is a greater need for educating independent advisors on how to better protect themselves and their client data. Many folks aren’t aware of this but NIST (National Institute of Standards and Testing) has partnered with the FBI and SBA (Small Business Administration) to also build awareness around IT Security. They sponsor free public workshops that are held all throughout the US. In ’09 they only did this at a small number of locations but as they plan to expand the workshop in 2010 it may be something advisors can participate in should they be interested.

    More information can be found on the following site:
    http://www.csrc.nist.gov/groups/SMA/sbc/workshops.html

    For those in need of immediate information NIST has also published a document in October of 2009 titled Small Business Information Security: The Fundamentals. This is a very well written piece and goes into a number of areas regarding IT security. You can find the document by visiting the NIST website and searching on document number: NIST IR 7621.

    http://csrc.nist.gov/publications/PubsNISTIRs.html

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