Recently, a global bank and a global law firm made headlines when employees of each colluded to execute insider trading that netted them hundreds of thousands of dollars. With the growing volume and complexity of data, it is surprising that we don’t see more of these headlines. Every time a piece of sensitive data moves between systems and users, the risk of a breach grows. While there are many lessons to be learned from the current story, one of the key takeaways must be how important it is to have purpose-built systems when it comes to making capital markets firms more secure.
While there is no surefire way to prevent “bad actors” in an organization from engaging in unethical or criminal activity, there are a number of safeguards that modern technology solutions can help firms put into practice or strengthen.
Keeping data secure in the cloud
Cloud computing is commonly praised by offering organizations security protocols that ensure third parties don’t tamper with data. It also enables compliance officers to apply one consistent security policy across all data and documents because they are all stored in one, centralized location rather than spread across a multitude of companies, platforms and devices. This is a critical first step because it allows firms to streamline the record-keeping process and stay ahead of any cyber threats.
Restricting data access
Having everything in one place means no emailed spreadsheets or team members being given extensive logins to external systems—potentially with personal user IDs your cybersecurity team has no control over.
The data access needs of one individual department or company can be very different than another, and firms need to be able to control that access down to the user level. Advanced permissions management allows site administrators to limit who has access to different data points and different classes of data, as well as what actions individuals can perform on specific data or in certain environments—from full read/write with the ability to edit and even delete documents to only being able to view select materials. This can help ensure sensitive data is only available to those who truly need it.
Tasks can be assigned to specific groups on your team with the option to require a step-by-step progression where a certain group of tasks must be completed (and approved) before progressing a deal through the pipeline. Each user or deal can have their own dashboard, where tracking what needs to be done is readily available for review. Having all of this on the same platform makes managing this easy while providing visibility and updates to those who need them and maintaining security.
Creating an audit trail
If data is accessed improperly, firms need to know who had access, when they had it and what they had the capability to do with the data. An audit trail can quickly show which team members were working on which deals and what they were doing with different sets of data or documents. Furthermore, a comprehensive audit trail can show—in one centralized location—communications between team members related to a deal, as well as who gave key approvals throughout the process.
Enabling threat detection
The most advanced systems will have automated monitoring that tracks user access and content download activity in real time, enabling firms to rapidly detect and respond to anomalous behavior that could indicate insider threats. Tracking also provides granular logging to pull specified “look-back” periods to assist with investigations.
The actions above may seem obvious to some and may even be easy to implement manually on a small scale. However, when it comes to global, distributed organizations working on thousands of individual deals and, even more individuals, the challenge becomes massive. Only by applying the latest technology can firms hope to apply policies consistently, manage them actively and ensure the security that they and their clients require and deserve.
DealCloud’s sophisticated and diligent data protection, storage, and privacy practices are designed to meet the risk and compliance needs and concerns of firms ranging to small private entities to large publicly-traded firms. Our purpose-built solutions are designed to keep your data secure.