Cyber Hacks and WhatsApp Chats Heighten Risks for Remote Traders
(Bloomberg) -- Banks that allow traders to work remotely will need to continually rethink their approach to surveillance, cybersecurity and training to ensure employees are adequately supervised, according to an industry body.
Risks include an increased use of unmonitored communications via services such as WhatsApp, while workers outside the office represent another avenue for cyber threats, a report Thursday by the London-based FICC Markets Standards Board said.
While there are plenty of benefits to remote work, including staff retention and cost savings, the report highlights more than 40 conduct-related risks including reduced engagement with training, slower resolution of operating incidents, loss of connectivity and controlling the flow of confidential information.
This slate of challenges is one reason why many trading floors bucked the flight to home offices and remained well-populated throughout lockdown. Many banks have mandated a wholesale return of their traders in recent months.
To mitigate the risks for those firms that have adopted remote trading, the report’s recommendations include:
- Using new communication tools to compensate for the loss of line-of-sight supervision, such as chatrooms or ad-hoc video calls from supervisors
- Printing and paperless controls to reduce the risk of losing information in transit or other non-office environments
- Encouraging staff and supervisors to over-escalate potential issues when working remotely
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