Financial Advisor 'stealing' customer records

Synopsis

Described by some security experts at the time as the largest data theft from a wealth management firm, this event resulted in a regulator fine of $1 million for the company involved.

An employee copied customer records from his company's systems to his home computer. Those same customer records were subsequently posted for sale online, however not by the employee, his home server had been breached by unknown attackers.

Contradicting conventional wisdom, the employee was neither evidently disgruntled nor planning on leaving. He claimed he copied the data because he planned to do further analysis on that data to be better at his job.

Highlighting the unique threats that cyber risks pose to an organisation. It is not just ‘bad’ employees that pose a threat, sometimes a seemingly harmless employee may inadvertently cause an incident just by trying to be more efficient as in this case.

If the company had consistently applied the 'principle of least privilege' and ensured it was operating as intended, they could have avoided being labelled as having had the largest breach of customer data within their sector where security and privacy are both of the utmost importance.

Analyst

Courtenay Brammar

Experienced global enterprise risk and governance professional. Previously Vice President at Morgan Stanley, Deloitte Risk Advisory practitioner and PRMIA steering committee member in both London and New York.

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Companies

  • Morgan Stanley
  • Morgan Stanley Smith Barney
  • Morgan Stanley Wealth Management

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