Home Insights Protecting Superannuation Funds: The Growing Importance of Modern Technology to Enhance Cyber Security

Protecting Superannuation Funds: The Growing Importance of Modern Technology to Enhance Cyber Security

Blog 28/03/2023

As the world becomes increasingly reliant on technology - cyber security, spyware, and software vulnerabilities have become growing issues for organisations of all sizes, including superannuation funds. Just yesterday, several media outlets announced that the members of an Australian superannuation fund had their private data compromised in an attack on the fund’s systems. Luckily, no money was taken from member accounts, but with the increasing number and sophistication of cyber-attacks and data breaches, it’s crucial for superannuation funds to prioritise the security of their systems and the information they hold.  

Online threats against Australian financial services firms have almost tripled in the first half of 2022, increasing from 989,360 in the second half of 2021 to 2.7 million in the first half of 2022. It’s unsurprising that at both the recent ASFA conference and at the CMSF conference held in Melbourne only last week, the APRA general manager commented that the authority is concerned about the increasing risk to the super industry from cyber breaches. Fraud and security experts commented that it was only a matter of time before a superannuation fund would come under attack – and that crystal ball proved correct.  

One of the challenges that superannuation funds face is the use of legacy software systems. Many of these systems are outdated and not equipped to handle modern security threats, leaving them and their valuable members vulnerable to attacks. This is why a modern wealth management administration platform is crucial for managing cyber security threats.  

Modern technology systems, with cloud-based capability like GBST’s Composer, offer enhanced security features that legacy systems simply cannot provide. For example, cloud platforms use advanced encryption techniques to protect data both in transit and at rest. They also provide real-time monitoring and threat detection, enabling organisations to respond quickly to potential security breaches. Modern technology systems are designed to be scalable and flexible. This means that superannuation funds can easily upgrade and add new security features as needed, without having to completely overhaul their existing systems. For example, they can implement multi-factor authentication to help prevent unauthorised access and protect sensitive information. Modern technology also enables constant monitoring and rectification of any vulnerabilities that are identified.  

Modern technology systems can manage cyber security by utilising artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). These technologies can help detect and respond to security threats in real-time, improving overall security posture. AI and ML can analyse patterns of behaviour and identify anomalies that may indicate a security breach. This can help superannuation funds detect and respond to threats before they can cause any damage. 

It is equally important for superannuation funds to stay up to date with the latest security trends and best practices. This includes regular training for staff, implementing strong password policies, and conducting regular security audits. By staying vigilant and proactive, superannuation funds can help protect their systems and member data from cyberattacks and other security threats. 

Cyber security is a growing issue that modern day superannuation funds must take seriously. Modern technology systems offer a range of security features and benefits that legacy systems cannot provide. By migrating to these systems, superannuation funds can better manage cyber threats and protect their systems and data from potential security breaches. 


Read more about GBST’s wealth management administration platform, Composer

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