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On Guard: Securing Sentinel's Data

When people think about their retirement nest egg, they think about a lifetime spent working and saving, with the ultimate goal of financial security. Retirement savings, by definition, is a lifetime savings strategy. When the day comes when you hang up your cleats, tool belt or keyboard, you want to know your funds are there and ready to support the new independent lifestyle you worked so hard to reward yourself with. At Sentinel, our goal is to not only help you save and reach your financial goals, but to also secure your assets and account information throughout the journey.

We are in the age of “e”-everything: our bank accounts, brokerage accounts and retirement accounts are all easily accessed ubiquitously from computers phones and tablets. Convenience is essential and expected in the age we live in. Security goes hand in hand with convenience, and doing both smartly is part of the mission at Sentinel.
Think for a moment about all the kinds of financial accounts you have (e.g. bank, brokerage and retirement). Which one do you check the least? The answer is likely your retirement account. Since we are saving and growing that account over a lifetime, the “set it and forget it” mentality exists with many people. Cyber criminals know this and they creatively try to take advantage of it. It is easier to steal money from an account that is not regularly monitored—if you can find a way. Securing client accounts and account data is a paramount priority at Sentinel, and we strive to create and implement best-in-class security measures to ensure your assets remain safe and secure.
Over the past few years, Sentinel has been actively working on solutions to secure two of the most essential transactions we process for our clients: account loans and retirement plan distributions. Sentinel uses a mix of proprietary and vendor-sourced solutions to do so. Transactions are scrutinized through the request and approval process. Proprietary technology is in place that leverages the data we have to look for “risky” transactions based on recent account or banking changes, for example. Those transactions are systematically scored and reviewed by our team and customers before being approved. Vendor solutions also help. They add authentication options and the ability to review and check legitimacy of the receiving institutions for the funds.
The IT and operational teams at Sentinel have been working closely together to “think like the bad guys.” In doing so, we have helped to create solutions that anticipate and thwart attacks like attempted social engineering attacks of retirement assets. The mission is ongoing. The bad guys are not resting and neither will Sentinel when it comes to keeping client data secure. It’s a battle and Winston Churchill said it best: “It is no use saying ‘we are doing our best.’ You have got to succeed in doing what is necessary.”

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