Cyber security – protecting your data in the modern Wild Wild West
28 Sep 2017 - Estimated reading time: 3 mins
As a big fan of cinema, I consider one of the greatest films of all time to be The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Every time I watch this film I think of the cowboys, the treachery, the betrayal, and of course, the Wild West. The anarchy that pursued within the Western United States during the late 19th Century and early 20th Century, the violence and the drama was a period in history that saw numerous television and film production company’s capitalise for years to come.
They say the stronghold of the Wild West slowly passed into history in the 1920s, however the nature of this period is still seen in everyday life today. Following a G20 Summit in China in September 2016, Barack Obama referred to the cyber world as being like the “Wild Wild West”.
Cyber security is of paramount importance to pension schemes and is a risk that trustee boards are monitoring and trying to control. The stakes are high and the consequences of getting these controls wrong are significant. The new Sheriff in town, General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), promises to impose hefty fines on any schemes that do not comply with the minimum requirements for protecting data. But what else should trustees be doing to protect their confidential information, how do they do this, and what are other schemes doing to ensure that they don’t fall foul of the new requirements?
Sharing information securely is important in a fast moving, digital age - whether it be meeting papers, historic scheme documentation, or information about individual members that is required to administer your scheme. We share information on a daily basis and being able to ensure that it is secure, with confidence, helps to control the threat of cyber-crime.
In a more general context the effective management of schemes risks, regardless of the risk being monitored, starts with the quality of the conversation. I consider this to mean the willingness and ability to draw on the breadth and depth of expertise of a board of trustees, the expertise and experience of other schemes from advisers, and the opportunity to let everybody voice and express their views. The future of governance is to embrace the diversity of opinions and experience that surround us through a shared understanding of the barriers that often prevent us from openly sharing our thoughts. Technology can help us to do this, when used at the right time in the right way.
If you wish to explore any of the topics raised in this blog then please contact us. At Hymans Robertson we have the experience to help you define a tailored path through your governance requirements. Supported by our leading technology solutions Periskope (an engaging tool that is used to facilitate any conversation where group consensuses is required) and focalPoint (an online document repository and paperless meeting manager), we are uniquely placed to support you and help to ensure that the Wild Wild West is tamed.