Voya Financial Advisors – SEC charges involve recent cybersecurity breach.
According to the Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday, the regulator has censured and fined Voya Financial Advisors $1 million regarding a data security breach that allegedly compromised the personal information of thousands of customers.
According to the SEC order, during a period of six days in April 2016, criminals impersonating independent advisers called the firm’s support line and requested new passwords. The passwords reportedly gave the intruders access to the personal information of 5,600 Voya Financial customers.
The imposters allegedly used this information to create new online customer profiles and were also able to obtain access to three customers’ account documents.
Within hours of the first fraudulent reset request, the targeted adviser received an email notification and informed Voya. According to the SEC order, the firm took steps to respond to the intrusion but did not prevent the attackers from accessing the Voya portal through other compromised adviser logins.
The SEC alleges the intruders gained access through weaknesses in the firm’s cybersecurity procedures, some of which had previously been exposed in similar frauds. In two instances when the intruders called the Voya support line, they used phone numbers previously identified as being associated with fraudulent activity.
The SEC also noted that Voya failed to apply its procedures to the systems used by its independent contractors, who make up the largest part of its workforce.
Without admitting or denying the SEC’s findings, Voya agreed to be censured, pay a $1 million penalty, and will retain an independent consultant to evaluate its policies and procedures.
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