Cybersecurity: a cornerstone of client trust

September 30, 2020
As fraudsters and scammers seek to take advantage of individuals, Schwab stays committed to keeping client data safe and secure.

Cybercrimes have skyrocketed in 2020. Barracuda Networks reported that in March alone, COVID-19-themed spear phishing emails skyrocketed 667 percent between March 1 and March 23. As fraudsters and scammers seek to take advantage, Schwab reaffirms our commitment to work tirelessly with our clients to keep their data safe and secure. We demonstrate our responsibility to clients every day by implementing robust cybersecurity oversight and practices, and by treating the cybersecurity partnership with our clients with the utmost care.


The spike in cyber-attacks during the pandemic underscores the importance of Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and acts as a critical reminder to remain vigilant against fraudsters and cyber theft. We have a team of hundreds of cybersecurity experts and staff, dedicated to information security. We strive to ensure our clients are updated with the latest tips, best practices and ‘red flags’ necessary to be prepared to prevent fraud attempts and cyber breaches.

- Bashar Abouseido, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Security Officer, Charles SchwabSchwab

Protection you can see, and protection you can’t see

When combatting fraudsters and scammers who look to exploit vulnerabilities, we focus our protection activities on three key areas: our clients and employees; our systems; and the information we are entrusted with.

Some of these activities are visible to our clients:

  • Authentication process – Our approach to security and fraud protection is anchored by multiple levels of physical and digital safeguards. We require secure identification and authentication before initiating transactions and maintain strict rules for the creation of secure user IDs and passwords.
  • Protecting vital passwords – Passwords are securely stored in the database as ”hashed” values, which are one-way mathematical functions that convert an original string of data into a seemingly random string of characters that is not useable by fraudsters.

Other activities are not visible, but are equally important:

  • Connections process – We provide a secure transmission connection to our Schwab websites through security technologies and encrypted cookies to establish and maintain a secure transmission connection designed to prevent unwanted visibility or interception.
  • Ongoing security evolution – We implement policies to fight against new and changing security challenges through constant assessments of our email security and login standards. Transaction monitoring, employer oversight and access control provide additional oversight to help identify unusual account behavior. Internal transaction monitoring systems are in place to identify potentially suspicious and fraudulent activity.

Trust is an intangible, but our clients recognize it when they feel it, and when they don’t. That is why we work together with our clients to help them understand the methods fraudsters use and to protect their data with the highest degree of security. During these challenging and uncertain times, it’s more critical than ever to provide our clients with much-needed peace-of-mind.