Cyber Threat Ready

We just got back from a conference in Omaha and got to spend some time with CLS, the money manager we use to manage the money that our clients have in the market. CLS did an amazing job hosting us and gave us a ton of great information in regards to how to serve our clients as well as how to manage a growing practice.

We wanted to share with you some of the information that we found incredibly valuable. First, a little background – identity theft and cyber crimes are becoming more and more prevalent. We have had close friends affected by identity theft on two occasions and it is nothing if not infuriating! One of the speakers we heard from talked about what you can do to help avoid being targeted for identity theft or cyber crimes in general. This guy knew his stuff.  Just read his bio and then we will share with you the tips and tricks he gave that will lower your chances of this happening to you!

Gary Rossi is the Vice President of Fidelity Security Services. He has over 30 years of experience as a private sector law enforcement securities professional with deep expertise in investigations, cyber fraud matters, risk mitigation, and strategic planning. Gary joined Fidelity Investments in 2003 and served as Fidelity’s Head of Corporate Investigations for nearly a decade, which included playing a leading role in customer fraud/identity theft matters and anti-money laundering cases in cyber-related investigations. Gary and his team created a comprehensive anti-fraud program to protect Fidelity’s customers from sophisticated cybercriminals. Gary now leads the Fidelity Security Services Group, working directly with clients to assist them in better understanding current security threats and building appropriate migration strategies. Prior to Fidelity, Gary served for 14 years as a special agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). He specialized in a wide variety of white-collar crime investigations, which included sophisticated financial fraud cybercrimes and public corruption matters. Gary functioned as a chief of the FBI Undercover and Sensitive Operations unit at FBI headquarters in Washington DC. This unit is responsible for overseeing many of the FBI’s most sensitive and complex cases. Prior to the FBI, Gary worked as a CPA for Arthur Anderson & Co. and as a consultant for the cybersecurity consultant firm @State (now Symantec).  Gary holds a degree in Accounting and Management from Bentley University.

Yeah, he was the real deal. He was so engaging and talked about how they would track down these bad guys and that over the course of his career he has put hundreds of these people away! He also said that sometimes he got to interview them before they were sent to jail. He said that several of these criminals were very smart and if they would have put their abilities into something that was legal they would be millionaires!

Here are the tips/tricks he advises to lower your likelihood of being targeted for cyber crimes:

Use two-factor authentication – As annoying as this is, it does help! Bad guys are looking for quick access and when they come upon someone who has two-factor authentication, they move on. They know many others don’t have this set up and they are looking for the quickest way to get into someone’s account.

Freeze your Credit with all major credit bureaus – This may seem like a severe step, but if your credit is locked no one can open anything up. If you need to open something, ask the company which credit bureau they are going to use, call that bureau and have them unlock it for a small amount of time and then freeze it again! Here are the numbers of all three credit bureaus:

  • Equifax – (866) 349-5191
  • TransUnion – (800) 916-8800
  • Experian – (888) 397-3742

Save these numbers in your contacts for quick access.

Consider using a dedicated device for transactions and access to your sensitive information – If you have a computer that is only for this use, be sure not to use it for email or web-surfing. A lot of times the bad guys will download things onto your computer by sending you an email asking you to download something or by leading you to click on something on the internet, so if you eliminate both of those it makes it a lot harder to get into your computer.

There you have it folks, Gary’s recommendations! When asked about LifeLock or companies providing those types of services, he said that he wouldn’t recommend them as they are just monitoring services that are reactive in nature.  Doing the three things he suggested would be your best bet in terms of being pro-active.

We hope that this helps. Be sure to reach out to us with any questions here!