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Security should feature higher in platform due diligence

Finding a platform that offers security for your clients is crucial. Get it wrong and you might endanger the health of your business, warns Zurich’s head of Retail Strategy Alistair Wilson

There’s more to choosing the right platform
for your business than a pretty interface. Data security is a crucial part – or should be – of your due diligence process in choosing a platform.

The key is to dig deep into the detail by asking providers (and yourself) the right questions about security.

So, for starters, have you thought about who can do what within your business?

Security of clients’ data has always been important. With advisers and clients transacting more and more investment business online, platforms go to great lengths to ensure the data is secure. So…

• What do you tell your clients about how you are ensuring their data is protected?

• What are you asking your platform provider as part of your ongoing due diligence about how they’re supporting this?

• When granting adviser staff access, what steps are taken to ensure only certain members of staff can carry out specific transactions on the platform?

Take the last point – some platforms can let anyone in the business carry out actions and to undertake switches with significant amounts of client money. Remember, it’s the adviser firm that will be responsible for any actions taken.

The risk can materialise in a number of ways; new members of the team or those with insufficient training are just two examples. Having the ability to grant and remove permissions is an important consideration.

The increasing use of outsourcing – granting access to a third party to carry out actions on your behalf – presents additional risk to the business which also needs to be assessed.

Informing clients that only trained and authorised key members of the team can take action with their policies can bring peace of mind.

I passionately believe that keeping the security needs of your clients and your business at the forefront of your due diligence process will ensure an informed choice which will stand the test of time.

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