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Mitigo joins as latest PIMFA Plus partner

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PIMFA, a trade association for the wealth management and financial advice industry, has announced Mitigo Cybersecurity as a PIMFA Plus partner offering member firms a trusted cybersecurity solution to help them protect against cyber-attacks and business disruption.The addition of Mitigo Cybersecurity as a PIMFA Plus partner comes amid an alarming new trend in ransomware attacks. The last 12 months have seen ransom demand cases grow threefold – with the average ransom paid to hackers standing at GBP135,000, and in almost a quarter of ransom cases, hackers release the stolen data.

Ransomware is a type of malicious software which encrypts a firm’s data so it is impossible for them to access any information. Cyber attackers then demand a ransom, promising in return to provide firms with the key to decrypt their own data. Mitigo has identified stated ransomware attacks as the among the three largest threats to a firm’s operational resilience and data security and studies have already identified a 20 per cent rise in ransomware attacks globally this year.

Further, in the last 12 months a new trend has emerged which has seen criminals steal a copy of firms’ data as a first step, before they then encrypt the firms data. They then seek payment for the decryption key, after which they threaten to publicly release the confidential data they have stolen from a firm, its business dealings and its clients piece by piece, unless a second payment is made.

As was recognised at PIMFA’s Virtual Festival in June the digital world has revolutionised organised crime and every financial services firm, large or small, is now a target for cyber criminals. Automated attacks are capable of finding vulnerabilities in a firm’s technology, poorly trained people and any inadequate policies or procedures, putting businesses and their clients at risk.

Moreover, the Covid-19 pandemic has only encouraged cyber criminals. There have been 212,715 reports of fraud or cybercrime to the City of London Police’s National Fraud Investigation Bureau since the start of this year, with reported losses standing at, at least, GBP1.2 billion. 

And the newly created National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), which launched a reporting service during lockdown that allowed people to forward suspicious emails directly to the agency for further investigation, said recently it had received more than 1.8 million reports, which has resulted in over 16,800 malicious websites being blocked or taken down.

PIMFA has carried out due-diligence to provide members with a trustworthy cybersecurity solution to protect member firms.

Mitigo’s support has been designed to offer a proportionate, affordable, ongoing security solution, to safeguard firms against cybercrime. This includes a dedicated expert client helpdesk and sandbox to which suspicious content may safely be sent.

Mitigo provide three services that can help keep PIMFA member firms safe from cyber-attacks. These include on-site technology assessments, penetration testing and vulnerability scanning; eLearning, testing and simulated phishing and policies, personalised staff cyber security handbooks and risk management framework. Mitigo also provide a cyber incident emergency response and investigation service, and can assist with reporting obligations to regulators and clients.

Richard Adler, PIMFA’s Director of Strategic Partnerships, says: “PIMFA is delighted to welcome Mitigo Cybersecurity as a PIMFA Plus member. Cybersecurity and operational resilience have been key concerns for many of our members, as well as the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is sadly true that cyber criminals and fraudsters see opportunities to enrich themselves at the expense of others in times of financial and economic crisis. I would urge all our members to ensure they have sufficiently robust systems and processes in place to combat what are becoming ever more sophisticated attacks.”

Lindsay Hill, Chief Executive of Mitigo, says: “Cybersecurity is now the biggest threat to operational resilience and data security for everyone in the business of financial advice and wealth management. The FCA expects firms to have a ‘security culture’ from the Board down.

“We see ransomware and email account takeover on the rise. Working from home and dealing with clients and others remotely, can dramatically increase the risk. Mitigo offers a straightforward way of managing cyber risk and keeping you in control.

“We are delighted to be working in partnership with PIMFA to help keep their members safe.”

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