Nearly one-third (31%) of retirement plan recordkeepers expect to increase their cybersecurity staff, according to the latest Cerulli Edge—U.S. Retirement Edition.

Industry stakeholders suggest the threat of retirement account fraud has increased in recent years, particularly during the remote work environment, Cerulli Associates says. And, even though the majority of recordkeepers act in a non-fiduciary capacity, Cerulli points out that courts have suggested that cybersecurity is a shared responsibility.

According to the Cerulli report, the Internet Crime Control Complaint Center (IC3) of the Federal Bureau of Investigation reports 791,790 cybercrime complaints in 2020—a 69% spike in total complaints from 2019—resulting in financial losses of more than $4 billion. “We haven’t had a data breach yet, but the stakes are getting higher…the techniques employed by cybercriminals are getting more sophisticated, particularly as we start to see more of this government-sponsored hacking,” one recordkeeper told Cerulli.

Few recordkeepers identified cybersecurity capabilities as a key differentiator when it comes to winning new defined contribution (DC) retirement plan business; however, more than three-quarters of retirement specialist advisers indicated cybersecurity is a very important factor when selecting a recordkeeper. This tied for second place with “website functionality and usability” (79%), just behind “investments…

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