Cybersecurity issues were another major topic of discussion at the conference. During a panel discussion on the topic, Ray Conley, CEO of Benetic, an online platform for advisors, archivists and other plan service providers, said that more than half of archivists in the retirement had been violated in recent years.
The Department of Labor released cybersecurity guidance in April 2021, including 12 best practices for plan sponsors and registrars. According to Conley, the guidelines are a way to reduce the risk of a cyberattack, but they cannot prevent it completely.
“Here are 12 things that would be good for you as a fiduciary to verify that your suppliers are tracking to mitigate your risk,” he said. “Now mitigating, I think, is the key word, because you’re not going to prevent it. It’s inevitable.”
Barbara Kontje, director of retirement and smart savings at American Express, echoed that, adding “a breach can happen to anyone…but you have to be prepared to act fast.”
Ms. Kontje said one of the best preventative measures is educating plan members on the best steps to secure their accounts, because retirement accounts are likely the largest sum of assets people have in one place.
In his closing remarks, Ali Khawar, Principal Deputy Undersecretary of the DOL Benefits Security Administration, emphasized that the responsibility for protecting cybersecurity rests with everyone involved.
“I see this as an area where… I am encouraged that there is a common commitment, but we all have a very important role to play,” Mr Khawar said.
Robert Steyer contributed to this story.
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