Protect your family’s data—and identity—from cyberthreats

Data security in the family office

No organization or individual is completely safe against cyberattacks or data breaches. Family offices are especially at risk because information from high net worth individuals is extremely valuable to criminals. With that in mind, your family office security measures may require a closer look.

Family offices have a host of risk considerations that they must account for when assessing possible threats and developing a data security strategy. These include:

  • Access control
  • Change and incident management
  • Disaster recovery and business continuity
  • Data governance
  • Infrastructure
  • Vendor management
  • Mobile security

To help manage various risks, family offices should implement preventative, detective and corrective controls to better secure critical data and systems. Keep in mind:

  • Preventative controls include vulnerability management, patch management, access and authentication, intrusion prevention systems and configuration management
  • Detective controls encompass intrusion defense systems, database activity monitoring, compliance monitoring, operational monitoring and network alerts
  • Corrective controls consist of incident response protocols, digital forensics, quarantine, isolation, and administrative and legal actions

Regardless of the number of family members or overall net worth, your family office is a data breach target – especially as the value of your information increases and threats evolve. Evaluating your data environment identifies outdated or insufficient security controls. A review by a third party can discover vulnerabilities you may not recognize. By understanding potential threats and strengthening family office security, you significantly increase your ability to protect sensitive information and avoid financial and reputational damage.

Family office security checklist

Consider the following directive checklist when implementing a data security plan for your family office:  

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Preventative controls

Detective controls

Corrective controls

Educate family members and staff on types and sources of fraud

Enhance security within your network systems to protect against fraud

Enhance the security around banking processes and controls

Understand responsibilities and liabilities

Monitor and reconcile accounts daily

Discuss options offered by your financial institution

Note any changes in performance

Pay attention to warnings

Be on alert for rogue emails

Run regular system scans for viruses and malware

Develop a response system

Possess key contact information for your financial institution

Maintain written chronology of events

File police report

Have a contingency plan for compromised systems

Consider other data and systems that may be at risk