Financial Advisor 'stealing' customer records


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.

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.

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.

Speak to the analyst

Want to discuss this case? We're offering a FREE 20 minute phone consultation to discuss this case and the implications it has for your organisation. Just select the time and date that works for you:


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.

Additional services

We offer a range of cost-effective, fixed-price training programmes and consultant services derived from the unique insights gained from all our case study data.

If you'd rather we did the heavy lifting in developing a cyber incident response plan or lessons learnt training for your organisation underpined by our unique insight into the challenges faced and strategies implemented by organisations countering today's cyber security threats then please contact us here.


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

We've done the analysis so you can make the decisions

When purchasing a minimum of 5 Case Studies
$699.99 if buying less than 5.

  • Detailed cause & effect analysis
  • Lessons learnt catalogued
  • Preventive controls extracted
Add to Cart
Heads up! Want to try before you buy? You can download our FREE demo case study here