While technology is transforming the way brokers across Australia are doing business, increasing efficiency and helping to ensure compliance, a lender has highlighted the potential risks involved with the revolution.
According to John Mohnacheff, group sales manager at Liberty Financial, it’s crucial brokers take pre-emptive action to make sure the tools they use to improve their business don’t end up being the very thing to undermine it.
“Recent reports show that cybercrime like fraud and phishing is on the rise, with one in three Australians affected in the last year. With this in mind, it’s essential for brokers to implement strong safety precautions when introducing new technology to their businesses,” said Mohnacheff.
“When experimenting with new programs, it’s important to exercise caution. While technology can support brokers in streamlining their systems and keeping up customer demand for fast service, unsecured platforms can leave them exposed to attack.”
Mohnacheff recommends the entire team goes through appropriate training around how to identify scams on an ongoing basis, rather than a “one-off interaction”.
“As cybercrime becomes increasingly sophisticated, it’s crucial for brokers, who deal with particularly sensitive financial information, to implement the necessary precautions to protect themselves and customers,” he added.
“Recently, there have been reports of phishing disguised as major institutions and retailers such as PayPal, Australia Post and Amazon. When you don’t know what to look for, some of these emails can look highly legitimate.
“For brokers, attacks like these can severely impact your business, and it can be extremely costly and time-consuming to rectify the damage caused, so it’s important to remain vigilant.”
While regular cybersecurity training is crucial to avoid falling prey to security threats, there are other simple actions that can help minimise risk.
“Avoid reusing the same password and ensure all passwords are updated regularly,” said Mohnacheff.
“It’s something we often hear, but despite this, many of us are still guilty of sticking to the same password. Once compromised, it’s very easy for hackers to move on to other accounts, which could put customers at risk.
“While no digital platform is completely impenetrable, actions such as installing security software, setting up a firewall and following recommended protocols can greatly reduce your risk.
“I would also recommend considering two-factor authentication to add another layer of protection to make it harder for hackers to gain access.
“As well as your own business data, protecting sensitive customer information is a part of the broker duty of care, so it’s essential to choose secure, reputable systems to support your business.”