Shields Up: What DWM is Doing, What Your Custodian is Doing, and What You Can Do to Protect Yourself

March 10, 2022

The importance of cybersecurity continues to grow and has been highlighted by Russia’s use of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks against the websites of the Ukraine government, military, and financial institutions. These attacks attempt to take down networks or services by overwhelming them with internet traffic. Similar to a real life traffic jam, this prevents other users from being able to get on the road and reach their destination.

In light of these events, the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has issued a “Shields Up” alert. CISA’s description of this elevated alert status, “While there are no specific or credible cyber threats to the U.S. homeland at this time…. Every organization—large and small—must be prepared to respond to disruptive cyber activity,” is intended not to cause alarm, but to remind us all to keep up best practices of caution and due diligence when interacting with the digital world. This can help to both prevent attacks from being successful in the first place and quickly respond to and mitigate the impact of successful attacks.

We at DWM enjoy Charles Schwab & Co. as our custodian of choice in no small part because of their commitment to the safety and security of our clients’ information and data. Schwab’s privacy policy states clearly “We do not and will not sell your personal information to anyone, for any reason, at any time.” Full stop.

Beyond this moral commitment to protect data security internally, Schwab takes their job seriously to protect from outside actors as well. Since the “Shields Up” alert has been put in place, Schwab has enhanced monitoring and increased resilience testing of their platform against various threat scenarios including those observed in recent real world attacks. This is in addition to their usual tools and protocols including behavioral transaction analytics, hardened infrastructure policies, and secure login capabilities (more info here).

There are also measures individuals can take to be proactive in reducing their risk and protecting their information online. These steps include creating unique passwords, only using websites and apps you know, and identifying potential phishing attempts in your email. Check out the Fraud Prevention Checklist for more information and resources.

Cybersecurity is important to protect one’s data and personal information. We know Schwab takes this seriously and takes actionable steps to protect their clients. Security is a partnership and it is essential to be able to trust who you work with to be responsible and proactive. It is difficult to prescribe a value to peace of mind, but having one less thing to worry about is certainly never a bad thing. We think you’ll agree and hope you can rest a little easier knowing you are in good hands.



Detterbeck Wealth Management is a fee-only financial planning / wealth management company with offices located in Palatine, IL (Chicago area) and Charleston, SC areas serving clients locally and across the country. To contact us about setting up an appointment, please see our contact us page