Analysis of FINRA 2017 Exam Finding and 2018 Exam Priorities

Like many of our firms, part of our annual cycle at OS33 involves assessing the successes of the past year and planning for the next with an emphasis on a few key areas.

In 2018, we will be laser-focused on helping our wealth management clients — Registered Investment Advisers, Broker-dealers, and others — meet their information security and compliance objectives by offering industry-leading software and services.

An important driver for assessing our goals and anticipating those of our clients are the FINRA Examination Findings and Exam Priorities published each year, which provide tangible insights into issues that are top of mind for regulators, and signal their intentions for the year ahead.

The reports assist us in aligning our understanding of critical risks for our clients, and confirming that the Workplace product roadmaps meet regulatory expectations.

There was no shortage of headline-grabbing cyber-related events in 2017 – Leaks from Equifax, Verizon, and Deloitte, as well as the WannaCry ransomware attack. It is clear from reading these FINRA missives that cybersecurity and technology risks continue to consume the financial services community.

Cybersecurity is essentially a standing item on FINRA’s annual examination roadmap, and its inclusion again in 2018 further solidifies this conclusion.

FINRA discussed specific areas where firms can improve their cyber risk practices, many of which can be supplemented and addressed with enhanced technology controls. Some areas covered include:

  • Access Management
  • Data Loss Prevention
  • Branch Offices

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