Certificate program helps financial planners protect their data, practices, and clients from cyber attacks
CHARLESTON (March 29, 2021) – Financial services firms are reportedly hit by security incidents 300 times more frequently than other businesses, according to ID Theft Resource Center. To help protect client data and comply with the cybersecurity requirements established by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and FINRA, Teresa Shawver, FPQP™, manager of Advisory Service Standards at McKinley Carter Wealth Services, has successfully completed the Cybersecurity for Financial Planners certificate program offered by the Financial Planning Association® (FPA®).
The certificate program, which includes six focus areas, was developed in partnership with FCI, a leading financial services cybersecurity authority and participant in FINRA’s Preferred Pricing Program. The program guides financial planners through a step-by-step process to establish a customized, long-term cybersecurity plan that ensures they are adopting reliable security measures that safeguard client data and provide a record of the firm’s cybersecurity practices if audited by regulators.
“As McKinley Carter’s Data Security Plan administrator and a Compliance Office and Technology Committee member, cybersecurity needs for the firm and our clients are always a top priority for me —they are things that keep us all up at night,” said Teresa Shawver, FPQP™. “In working with our technology partner and sister company, Omni Strategic Technologies, and now utilizing the knowledge and tools gained through the FPA Cybersecurity certificate program, I can help the firm and our clients rest easier knowing our cybersecurity efforts are not only current, but also strategically and proactively based on industry best practices — and will stay that way.”
The certificate program is designed to educate financial professionals on critical aspects of cybersecurity, how to implement a cybersecurity program successfully, and how to safeguard sensitive information and confidential data. The program is broken down into six sections, including an overview of a cybersecurity program, program controls, process controls, data controls, technical and physical controls, and more.
The course was designed and is delivered in a format similar to a hands-on workshop, which means Shawver not only received a certificate for completion, but also developed a completed, compliant cybersecurity plan for McKinley Carter.
“With a growing number of clients, our responsibilities to serve our clients continues to expand. At the same time, we see new and emerging threats attempting to break through security measures in place,” says McKinley Carter Director of Advisory Services and Chief Compliance Officer Brian T. Gongaware, CFP®. “Teresa’s leadership in proactively protecting our clients and our firm is critical to our mutual success and security.”
To learn more about the Cybersecurity for Financial Planners certificate program, visit www.financialplanningassociation.org/cyber
About the Financial Planning Association
The Financial Planning Association® (FPA®) is the principal membership organization for CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM professionals, educators, financial services professionals and students who are committed to elevating the profession that transforms lives through the power of financial planning. With a focus on the practice, business and profession of financial planning, FPA advances financial planning practitioners through every phase of their careers, from novice to master to leader of the profession. Learn more about FPA at FinancialPlanningAssociation.org and follow on Twitter at twitter.com/fpassociation.