Data protection  

Advisers warn of security concerns in new technology

Mr Pennie agreed that encryption mechanisms are needed to offer advisers extra protection.

He added: “Our video conferencing supplier uses encryption mechanisms and protocols to protect client confidentiality and data.

“They also supplied us with a white paper on web conferencing security when we were completing our due diligence which provided reassurance on the security and integrity of the software.

“The challenge, like so many things to do with technology, is finding a system that is compatible with all your clients' different technology and software and is simple for everyone to use.”

Tim Morris, independent financial adviser at Russell & Co, said although he feels more comfortable sticking to emails he understands that the world is changing and increasingly technology will be used more in day to day processes.

Mr Morris said: “I feel more comfortable using Skype for clients. I’ve used this in the past and feel it is relatively secure. 

“Saying that, other than password protection, I couldn’t say for sure how secure Skype is - if at all.

"We have to communicate securely by email. The main risk of breach is being hacked. I feel more comfortable with email because it’s easier to limit what is discussed than it is in an interactive face-to-face conversation.

“This is an area where our business procedures are currently being adapted to this new world and required methods of working.”

Meanwhile adviser Billy Borrows has welcomed video conferencing and actually sees it as more secure than face to face conversations when discussing confidential client information.

Mr Burrows said: “We use video conferencing and have no problems.

"Video conferencing is much safer than meeting clients in coffee shops. If I had £1 for every adviser/client meeting I overhear in London coffee shops I would have free coffee all year!”

amy.austin@ft.com

What do you think about the issues raised by this story? Email us on fa.letters@ft.com to let us know.