The SPARK Institute and the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center will launch a series of workshops next month to help strengthen the retirement cybersecurity chain.
SPARK, which represents retirement plan service providers and investment managers whose members serve 100 million participants in 401(k) and other defined contribution plans, and the FS-ISAC, an industry consortium dedicated to reducing cyberrisk in the global financial system, announced Monday the kickoff of the series of regional cybersecurity workshops in partnership with the Cyber and Infrastructure Security Agency, a new agency within the Department of Homeland Security.
Charles Schwab will host the first workshop Oct. 17 at its Denver Lone Tree Campus.
This event is designed to educate plan sponsors and other retirement industry providers on how the U.S. government and its agencies can help businesses better defend against cyberattacks; share the mission of FS-ISAC; spotlight the tools SPARK members developed to help employers evaluate the cybersecurity of their vendors; and showcase Charles Schwab's approach to cybersecurity and protecting client data.
"While many SPARK members already have robust cybersecurity programs in place, smaller clients frequently ask for assistance in protecting data," said Tim Rouse, executive director of SPARK Institute, in a news release. "These CISA programs would be an effective way to help educate them on all of the resources available through the U.S. government."
The SPARK Institute formed the Data Security Oversight Board — composed of industry stakeholders — which in 2017 published a set of cybersecurity best practice standards. Charles Schwab is a member of the oversight board.
"As an industry, we all understand the importance of helping plan sponsor clients and their employees manage and mitigate cybersecurity risks," said Catherine Golladay, executive vice president, Schwab Retirement Plan Services, in a news release.
So far, only one workshop is scheduled, but the goal is to take the program national in 2020, Mr. Rouse said. More than a half-dozen SPARK members have offered to host a workshop, "so once we get through our pilot program and evaluate the results, we will go back to those members and begin scheduling for next year," he added.