Sean Mackey

Sean Mackey is an information security marketing and training specialist at Commonwealth Financial Network®, member FINRA/SIPC, the nation's largest privately held Registered Investment Adviser–independent broker/dealer. With the firm since May 2012, Sean helps plan and run Commonwealth’s security awareness training program, as well as conceptualizes and writes the team’s marketing materials. He completed both his BFA in writing, literature, and publishing and his MFA in creative writing at Emerson College. He holds his Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP), Associate of (ISC)2, Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge (CCSK), Security+, and Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT) designations.

Information about securities-registered professionals may be found at FINRA BROKERCHECK.

Recent Posts

Lessons Learned from 2018’s Biggest Information Security Stories

Assembling Your Shield: A Risk-Based Approach to Information Security

How Cryptocurrencies Affect Cybercrime—and What It Means for You

Help Clients Avoid Identity Theft with the Right Protection Resources

The 4 Biggest Information Security Incidents of 2017

Lessons Learned from 2018’s Biggest Information Security Stories

Posted by Sean Mackey

December 18, 2018 at 10:00 AM

As the media knows, fear sells. These days, it can become a challenge to separate fact from fiction when reading the headlines. For example, a USA TODAY article from earlier this year reports on children succeeding in a “hack-the-election” event, while Slate Magazine tells a different side of the story about the same event.

With 2018 coming to a close, let’s get our facts straight on five of the most important information security stories from this year. Along the way, we’ll pick up some tips to better protect against cyberthreats.

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Topics: Information Security

Assembling Your Shield: A Risk-Based Approach to Information Security

Posted by Sean Mackey

August 1, 2018 at 1:30 PM

There are a lot of unknowns when it comes to information security. As a financial advisor, you aren’t expected to know everything about security, yet clients rely on you to protect them against the latest threats. How can you confidently reassure them that you’re keeping their information safe?

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Topics: Information Security

How Cryptocurrencies Affect Cybercrime—and What It Means for You

Posted by Sean Mackey

July 3, 2018 at 10:00 AM

In 2016, I invested 2 U.S. cents in bitcoin. Two years later, bitcoin had increased in value by more than 34 times, and my investment was worth—get ready for it—68 U.S. cents.

For those who take their investments more seriously, achieving a 3,400-percent return may seem like a wild success story—yet it’s happened! (See Figure 1.)

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Topics: Information Security

Help Clients Avoid Identity Theft with the Right Protection Resources

Posted by Sean Mackey

February 28, 2018 at 1:30 PM

I’ll take a wild guess: you didn’t become a financial advisor to remediate identity theft. But because this kind of fraud can drastically affect their finances, clients often look to you for guidance to help them keep their identities protected.

As news of the Equifax breach broke in September 2017, hundreds of Commonwealth advisors reached out to the firm’s Information Security team, asking how to help clients avoid identity theft. Because of Equifax’s poorly managed response, the situation seemed to change hourly; it became a challenge for us all to process the news, develop an appropriate response, and help clients take the right steps to secure their personal information.

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Topics: Information Security

The 4 Biggest Information Security Incidents of 2017

Posted by Sean Mackey

December 13, 2017 at 1:30 PM

As a trainer, one of my main goals is to make sure that Commonwealth’s home office staff and our network of financial advisors are aware of (though not paranoid about) information security threats.

And there certainly have been a lot of threats recently. As the year comes to a close, I’d like to take a look back on the biggest information security incidents of 2017 and show that for every bad thing that happened, an invaluable lesson was learned. The bad guys are getting smarter, but so are the good guys.

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Topics: Information Security

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