By George Yacik/ FA-Mag.com
Entreda, a leading provider of cybersecurity software to the retail wealth management industry, has launched an upgrade to its Unify platform that alerts RIAs and broker-dealer firms to digital threats and lapses in real time, right down to the individual rep’s electronic devices.
But Unify 2.0 goes one step further. It not only notifies users when there is a problem and instructs them how to address it, but—depending on the severity of the issue and the client’s consent—fixes the problem itself automatically.
“Unify has the ability to support what we call auto-remediation,” said Sid Yenamandra, Entreda’s co-founder and CEO. For example, if Unify detects that a user is connected to an unsecure Wi-Fi network or hasn’t installed a patch on his laptop, it automatically informs the user and the firm administrator of the issue and fixes it. “We support auto-remediations for a number of commonly seen user behaviors,” he said.
Using artificial intelligence and the data it gathers, Unify creates a constantly updated “Cyber Risk Number” for each organization and individual users that measures their vulnerability to cybersecurity lapses and breaches and ensures they are compliant with industry regulatory guidelines. Similar to a credit score, the risk number is calculated using seven different factors. Risk numbers range from 200 to 800, with the lowest number meaning the highest risk. Yenamandra said the risk number is the “front and center” part of the Unify upgrade and allows users to compare themselves to other firms and users on the platform.
The Unify upgrade also includes enhanced reporting capabilities. Organizations can see what’s going on across multiple branch offices, right down to each individual user and device. Entreda also provides customized security awareness training and conducts “incident response drills,” the cybersecurity equivalent of fire drills, Yenamandra said. It can also vet each client’s vendors through Unify to make sure they have compliant cybersecurity tools.
The Unify app is installed on each employee’s devices, including cell phones, tablets, laptops and desktop computers. Pricing ranges from $5 to $15 per device per month, depending on the number of users in the organization. Entreda also prices per user, assuming that each user has 2.5 devices.
Yenamandra said Unify has more than 60,000 individual users, and that 10 of the top 25 broker-dealers in the U.S. mandate that their representatives use the software.
Yenamandra said Unify integrates the four main pillars of cybersecurity support—training, system/software protection, device/hardware protection and real-time surveillance and data collection/analytics—things usually supplied by different vendors.
“Cybersecurity is a very siloed industry,” he said. “The benefit of Unify is that it’s all wrapped into one fabric. We don’t use third-party tools. Everything is built in.”
“We built Entreda Unify to address the enormous surge of demand from firms across the industry for a solution set that can consistently keep them multiple steps ahead of hackers, phishing scams and thieves,” Yenamandra said. “Increasingly, RIAs and broker-dealers recognize the true potential costs of failing to take the proper precautions.”
“For many of the firms I advise, last year’s Equifax data breach was a major wake-up call about the threats that independent firms and their advisors face with increasingly sophisticated cybercriminals,” said Larry Roth, the former CEO of AIG Advisor Group and Cetera Financial Group, who is now the managing partner of RLR Strategic Partners, a growth strategy consultancy for the wealth management space. “Companies like Entreda that are actively rethinking how cybersecurity is structured, and deploying tools such as artificial intelligence to enhance their offerings, could be the tip of the spear that our industry needs to better defend itself against cybercriminals,” Roth said in a statement provided by Entreda.