"Advisors, Get Paranoid: Your Firm Is a Hacker’s Candy Store" (Think Advisor)






Professional and highly skilled cybercrooks are now focusing their attention on the targets that provide the biggest payoff with the lowest risk. Crooks call them "Candy Stores."

Candy Stores are the most affluent personal targets - higher net worth families, professional advisors, and successful small business owners who not only offer the best payoff to hackers and identity thieves but also provide a gateway to endless other assets.

Guarding the Candy Store is a unique education program created by one of the world’s most experienced security experts to not only help your high net worth clients protect what they value most, but also to make sure that your employees are not the sleeping sentries that let the attackers in.

Why Target the Affluent?

Today's crooks are after more than money. Data is the currency of cybercrime, and Candy Stores provide access to a wealth of valuable information that includes personal and corporate secrets, business and social contacts, customer and employee files, and financial and investment information.

For the affluent consumer the worry is also about reputation, retirement, public embarrassment, the impact on family, partners and business associates, legacy, wasted time, private secrets.

And while the business of cybercrime is evolving rapidly, almost daily, for the last decade consumer security has changed little. For most consumers, options are limited to a cookie-cutter identity protection service and some antivirus software. For the more affluent consumers, who are targeted by the more sophisticated attackers, these defenses offer little resistance.


Guarding the Candy Store is a live in-person seminar targeting high net worth clients and their advisors. Presented by Neal O’Farrell, the seminar explains why crooks are increasingly targeting high net worth consumers and their advisors, what these crooks are after, their favorite tactics, and the best defenses.

Participants will learn:

  • Who the hackers are and what kinds of information they’re after.
  • What a typical attack looks like.
  • Examples of real attacks against HNW clients and advisors.
  • The mistakes victims make and how hackers will quickly exploit them.
  • The techniques and tools experts use to keep their secrets secret.
  • How to talk to family members and employees about the risks.
  • Simple steps that can help lock down computers, devices, and sensitive data, and lock out thieves.
  • How to spot and avoid phishing and spear phishing, whaling, social engineering, ransomware and other growing threats.
  • Simple security tools that are easy to use and can provide layers of effective security.
  • Why professional advisors are often the easiest point of access for most hackers and the crucial security steps these advisors can take.

Client Bonus

Clients participating in this seminar will enjoy free consultation with Neal, on any security and privacy topic, for up to 6 months after the event. Some restrictions apply. Please contact us for more information.


  • The client version of Guarding the Candy Store lasts approximately 60 minutes, with additional time afterwards for Q&As.
  • The employee version of the presentation can be scheduled for 60 minutes to two hours.
  • Clients have included US Trust, Morgan Stanley, Stifel Nicolaus, Ameriprise, and BKR International.
  • For more information about fees and scheduling, call Neal at (925) 914 0248 (PST), or use our contact form to send him a message.
At least 88 percent of broker-dealers and 74 percent of advisers have been the target of cyberattacks, according to the SEC

Cyber criminals are trawling through wealth managers’ websites as well as social media networks to target the super-rich (Financial Times)

Financial advisers beware: Cybercrooks are zeroing in on what they call “candy stores” – the accounts and other holdings of high-net-worth individuals. (Investment News)...Author here


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Schooled In Security is a non-profit initiative to encourage high school students to consider a career in cybersecurity and help address the critical national shortage in cybersecurity skills and professionals. Learn more.