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Morgan Stanley Data Leak Spotlights Insider Threat

January 8, 2015
David F. Katz

The article quotes David Katz

It must have been a tough first day back in the office after New Year’s for some at Morgan Stanley, as on Monday the bank was trying to minimize the damage from a serious data leak allegedly perpetrated by a financial adviser working at its offices in New York. Galen Marsh allegedly downloaded data on 350,000 of the bank’s wealth management clients (totaling about 10 percent of Morgan Stanley’s total clients in this space), and posted information on about 900 of these clients online.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Marsh’s lawyer acknowledges he obtained, but insists he didn’t post, the data, which includes account names and numbers, states of residence and asset values. Morgan Stanley announced Monday it had fired Marsh, and reassured clients in a statement that the situation was under control.

Although the bank seems to have dealt with the leak, the idea that one misbehaving insider could take so much sensitive data so quickly from a major financial institution and put it on the Internet for anyone to see is unnerving. The incident serves as a reminder that the insider cyberthreats companies face are just as formidable as outside hacker attacks.

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