Cyber training is advice value-add: AUSTRAC

AUSTRAC director strategic intelligence and policy David Hawkins believes there are opportunities for financial advisers to value-add by providing cyber training services.

Speaking at the AFA 2017 National Adviser Conference on the Gold Coast, Hawkins agreed with a point that email is a vulnerability for financial advice firms and for financial abuse.

He believes there is a role for advisers to educate their clients around the importance of cybersecurity.

"The idea of training your clients in cyber hygiene might seem like a bridge too far but it can be done in small pieces. I can tell you your clients are going to be very happy with you if you've saved them from being defrauded," Hawkins said.

Colonial First State chief risk officer Anvij Saxena said told the conference that cybercrime had reached a new reality much closer to home.

"It may not necessarily be someone from an African country. Someone who has gone to university and studied technology and understands systems - it could be that person sitting on the bus next to you looking at your Facebook, it could even be family member or relative," Saxena said.

He believes superannuation is one area ready to be highly targeted by fraudsters and hackers. The chief risk officer also detailed how people with multiple accounts with multiple energy providers, telcos and even television subscription services means there's opportunity for hackers at every corner.

He said Colonial First State receives more attempted cybercrime attacks then it would like but its defence systems are well trained and able to identify problems relatively quickly.

"In terms of numbers, we have dedicated operational security teams that a lot of the large institutions and product issuers would have, and their job is to go through transactions that may be odd or have certain flags or triggers," Saxena said.

"You're looking at, on average, about three to five actual attempted frauds every month. That's just from one player, multiply that across the industry and you have a sense of how prevalent it actually is."

Read more: David HawkinsColonial First StateCybercrimeAnvij SaxenaAFAFacebookGold CoastNational Adviser Conference
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