Welcome to Visory

RightSize Solutions is now part of Visory

We have joined forces with True North Networks to bring enterprise-level technology solutions and support to RIAs, accounting firms and others.

Welcome to Visory

True North Networks is now part of Visory

We have joined forces with RightSize Solutions to bring enterprise-level technology solutions and support to RIAs, accounting firms and others.  

Welcome to Visory

Swizznet is now Visory

Our parent company name has changed, but our hosting services, solutions and Obsessive Support® have not. 

|
Call Today (913) 396-4600
IT Support Services
View All
Obsessive Support®

The hallmark of the Visory experience, our dedicated team of professionals provides a high degree of support for all your IT needs

Managed Infrastructure

Leading edge solutions that are always working to maintain the integrity of your firm’s IT backbone

Managed Security

Best in class security to protect your firm’s data and technology

We’re here to help. Contact us for a consultation.
Application Hosting
View All
Quickbooks

Take your business to new heights with Visory’s flexible QuickBooks hosting solutions

Sage

The same Sage you work in every day, only better

GoldMine

An affordable CRM for small- and medium-sized businesses, built to support your sales, marketing and customer service needs

Tax

Revolutionize your next tax season with added efficiency and mobility

3rd Party Applications

Access critical applications that are integrated seamlessly into your workflow, conveniently hosted on the same server

Cloud Platforms

Access affordable enterprise-grade hosting solutions with none of the IT burden

Watch your firm grow with the ultimate ease of access, security and flexibility.
Managed Services
View All
Managed Security

We’ll help you develop and implement the right cybersecurity policies and protocols to keep your firm secure and in compliance with regulatory guidance

Managed Infrastructure

We’re here to manage your firm’s IT activity, safeguarding the integrity of your infrastructure and devices, so you don’t have to

Let’s talk about keeping your business and your data secure.
Cybersecurity
View All
Managed Security

We’ll help you develop and implement the right cybersecurity policies and protocols to keep your firm secure and in compliance with regulatory guidance

Zero Trust

Security that ensures everyone granted access is who they claim to be

Awareness Training & Testing

Educate and train your most important last line of defense – your people

End Device Protection

Protection where people and their machines intersect

Multifactor Authentication

Secure access to your data with multiple verification checks on identity, reduce the risk of compromise, prevent cyberthreats

No firm is too big or too small for a data breach or a cyberattack. Let’s talk about your security.
Compliance
View All
Tax & Accounting

IRS 4557

Other Businesses

Complying with state and federal privacy regulations and more

Contact us to learn more about how we keep your business safe and in compliance
QB Desktop, QBO

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consetetur sadipscing elitr, sed diam nonumy

O365

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consetetur sadipscing elitr, sed diam nonumy

Liscio

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consetetur sadipscing elitr, sed diam nonumy

Knowbe4

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consetetur sadipscing elitr, sed diam nonumy

Sentinel One

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consetetur sadipscing elitr, sed diam nonumy

Lorem Ispum Dolor Software CTA

It’s an email every financial advisor should expect to receive at least once.

Financial advisor Charles Failla recalls receiving an email from a client asking for about $5,000. She was vacationing in the Caribbean and claimed the hotel where she was staying didn’t accept credit cards.

“She needed cash,” said Failla, certified financial planner and principal at Sovereign Financial Group in New York.

“I said, ‘I know you’re on vacation, but call me collect. I need to confirm it’s you before I send money to a Caribbean island.’”

After several emails, the client was able to track down a phone and confirm her identity.

“She understood and appreciated it,” Failla said. “It’s definitely a policy at our firm: You get an email asking for money? Verify it with the client via telephone.”
He was right to be suspicious. Last year, victims lost $2.7 billion to cybercrime, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as state securities regulators, are paying close attention to financial advisors’ cybersecurity practices.

Whether you directly manage clients’ assets or your practice specializes in financial planning, you’ll need to protect your customers’ data.

Even large companies aren’t immune to internet scammers. Last September, New York-based Voya Financial Advisors paid the SEC $1 million to settle charges regarding a data breach that compromised customers’ personal information.

Though advisors themselves are under pressure to protect their firms from cyberattacks, they’re often unsure where to start.

“We’re always getting hackers trying to break into the firewall and go on phishing expeditions, but people don’t think about what they will do when they have a breach,” said Michelle Jacko, CEO of Core Compliance & Legal Services in San Diego.
The SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations highlighted cybersecurity as a 2019 examination priority.

There are two types of audits advisors should expect from the federal regulator, according to Wes Stillman, CEO of RightSize Solutions, a cybersecurity consultancy in Lenexa, Kansas.

“Cybersecurity is part of the normal SEC exam: There might be 13 to 15 questions around information technology and cybersecurity,” he said.

“Then there’s the big cyber sweep: Forty-plus questions around policy, cybersecurity and all that good stuff.”
In either case, regulators want to make sure advisors have written policies and procedures around the rules and methods used to safeguard devices and data.

This manual should include the firm’s approach toward mobile computing, virus protection, remote access and more. It needs to be kept current, and staff members must be trained on how to follow it.

“We run into people who say ‘Sure, we have a written policy,’ and it’s referencing SkyTel pagers and 56K modems,” said Greg Goldstein, president of Highridge Technology in Ho-Ho-Kus, New Jersey. “That’s almost worse than not having a policy at all.”

Firms need a written incident response plan, spelling out the necessary steps to address a cybersecurity incident, vulnerability assessments and details on who is responsible for implementing the plan after a data breach.

“Everyone needs to know their role, including legal counsel,” said Bryan Baas, managing director of compliance for TD Ameritrade Institutional. “When the roof comes crashing down, you won’t have the time or the patience to field questions on what happened and what do we do.”
Advisors should be aware of three key risk alerts from the SEC Inspections and Examinations, said Jacko of Core Compliance.

These alerts highlight vulnerabilities SEC staff has spotted while examining advisory practices.

One recommends establishing rules around electronic communication, including reviewing employees’ use of social media and ramping up security around remote access to email.

A second risk alert addresses the use of policies and procedures on customer privacy and establishing safeguards to protect client records.

During its exams, SEC staff “observed registrants’ employees who regularly stored and maintained customer information on their personal laptops,” according to the risk alert.

Firm policies and procedures didn’t address how to safeguard clients’ data, the SEC said.
Finally, a third risk alert, issued in May, covers client data protection when firms use cloud-based storage.

Indeed, the SEC’s exam staff found that some firms didn’t properly configure the security settings on their network storage solutions to protect against hackers.

The SEC also uncovered another vulnerability: Some advisory firms failed to make sure their third-party vendors’ cybersecurity practices were up to snuff.

“These cybersecurity issues transcend registered investment advisors,” said Failla. “A lot of these cracks in security come from the relationships businesses have with third-party vendors.”
Cybersecurity consulting advice doesn’t come cheap. For instance, Goldstein can charge up to $10,000 a year for staff training and regular onsite meetings with executives.

Nonetheless, all firms need to adopt a formal approach toward cybersecurity. Here’s where to begin.

• Draft your policies and procedures: “The two big things regulators want when they walk in the door is ‘Who is accountable for the cybersecurity program?’ and ‘We want to see the documentation for the plan,’” said Baas of TD Ameritrade.

New York State’s cybersecurity requirements can act as a good checklist for advisors to follow for best practices, said Failla.

• Enforce your own rules: Auditors want to make sure you’re putting your own policies and procedures into action. “Your policy might say that you train the employee on cybersecurity,” said Stillman. “How do you do that and how do you track their progress?”

• Run a fire drill: “Vulnerability tests are highly technical and can run from $1,500 to tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the size of the firm and the depth they go,” said Stillman. “Be prepared to fix the problems it shows you.”

• Query your vendors: Ask about their cybersecurity plan, their vulnerability testing and how they would proceed amid a data breach.

“Go visit your vendor if you can and understand the physical environment,” Baas said.

More from FA Playbook:
Cringeworthy money mistakes clients have made
5 tips for advisors to consider before the stretch IRA is out
New tax rules give real estate investment trusts an advantage

View this Article as a PDF
THOUGHT LEADERSHIP
What We’re Saying
Oct 26th, 2022
RIA Spending to Rise with SEC’s Cybersecurity Proposed Rule’.
The Securities and Exchange Commission may soon have a heavier hand in registered investment advisor firms’ cybersecurity policies. The SEC voted last month to propose
Sep 27th, 2022
Three Steps for Mitigating Accounting Cyber Threats to Prevent Tax Season Attacks
If you think the middle of tax season “is not the time” to proactively improve your firm’s cyber security protocols, you may be playing right
Sep 19th, 2022
Four Steps to Lock Down Your Firm’s Security and Compliance Priorities
We’re coming up on almost six months since the last Scaling New Heights conference, but I still vividly remember the moment at that event when
Jul 25th, 2022
Cybersecurity Tips for Accounting Data in 2021
October may be over, but cybersecurity awareness and the National Cyber Security Alliance’s (NCSA) theme of “Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart” applies year round. At Swizznet,
Jun 29th, 2022
Reassessing Cybersecurity in a Changing World
As the industry waits for the Securities and Exchange Commission’s final rules on cybersecurity, RIAs can take steps now to better safeguard themselves and their
Mar 24th, 2022
Building Confidence in Your Cybersecurity Program
How to put into practice lessons learned from recent Division of Examinations Risk Alerts and Division of Enforcement cases. How to proactively improve cyber hygiene
Mar 21st, 2022
Tax Season Security Tips for 2022
We’re kicking off accounting’s favorite time of the year: tax season (cue the memes). Accountants aren’t the only busy people. The financial data surrounding returns
Mar 20th, 2022
6 Safeguards for Ensuring Accounting Cyber Security
With all the news about accounting cybersecurity threats, there’s another angle that’s less talked about: the opportunity these breaches create for CPAs and accountants. Clients increasingly
Mar 20th, 2022
Tax Season Preparation Best Practices: 7 Tips for CPAs & Accountants
As of August 24, 2021, there were 669,130 actively licensed CPAs in the United States. It’s a safe assumption to say that not one of them would
Copyright ©2022 Visory. All rights reserved.