The following article was written by Adinah Brown, content manager at Leverate.
Hacking has become the inevitable ailment of companies and organizations that have even a slight presence on the Internet. Citibank became the victim of a hacking attack worthy of a history book, when a Russian crime ring leader gained access to accounts stored in the bank’s network and managed to steal millions of dollars in 1995; In 1999, a 16-year-old hacker downloaded proprietary software from NASA for the International Space Station; and in 2011, hacktivist group Lulzsec hacked into the Sony Pictures systems, stealing thousands of customers’ personal details.
These attacks just about graze the surface.
Hundreds of cyber attacks and thousands of cyber attack attempts occur worldwide every year, and unless your company is still storing customer, financial and any other business detail solely in cardboard boxes piled up high in a huge storage room, your company is vulnerable to a hacking attack.
If merely by its online nature, Forex brokerages are even more susceptible to hackers than other, more traditional industries.
Not only is a brokerage’s CRM susceptible to hacking, but there are a multitude of ways in which a broker can see their precious, hard-earned leads, stolen. They say that “necessity is the mother of invention” and with the ease in which someone can set up a new white label brokerage, using off-the-shelf technology, many employees go out to set new ventures and these new brokers find themselves in great need of leads. Many employees have been accused of stealing leads from their employers, either prior to venturing out on their own or for compensation from an external broker.
A lead can be stolen by ways as simple as taking a screenshot of the CRM, or as sophisticated as using small cameras hidden in clothing to capture the movements on a sales person’s screen. Even hacking into a brokerage’s landing page and placing filters on the contact sheet to duplicate and deviate traffic to their own databases has been well documented.
You spend thousands of dollars on advertising to bring in leads to your landing pages, and pay equally high amounts of money in compensation to your affiliates and IBs. Getting those leads stolen can be incredibly costly and is most certainly not part of your business plan. Just as you invest money in acquiring these precious and valuable leads, you should be investing in ways to protect them.
Many brokerages have instituted a no cell phone policy while sales people sit at their stations. Others have installed CCTV cameras around their offices. But one company is taking cyber security by the horns and developing a platform that separates and encrypts sensitive data, such as telephone numbers and emails, from the lead, so that the salesperson can still contact the customer via the system, but the contact details remain encrypted, hence unavailable for viewing and rendered useless if stolen.
If you are a brokerage that is serious about its lead generation, make sure you are as serious about protecting the leads you get.