While wealth has its privileges, it also has risks. An Insite/Zogby survey from July 6, 2011 revealed that random street crime, home invasion, and mugging are keeping 92 percent of the high net worth individuals they surveyed awake at night—not identity theft and cyber attacks. Nearly 50 percent said they are concerned for their safety when traveling, and 39 percent have taken steps in the past year to increase their personal security, either at home or in the workplace. In fact, the trend is that some people with significant wealth are choosing to go low-key—55 percent of respondents said they are limiting “flashy” purchases to lower external awareness of their wealth.
In this age of 24/7 news and the Internet,information about us is everywhere.Those with their guards down may be vulnerable on many fronts, which is why increasingly more high and ultra-high net worth individuals and families are turning to security professionals for protection.
“Those with wealth or who are perceived to have wealth offer the potential of a huge windfall to predators, which may make them considerably more vulnerable,” explains Christopher Falkenberg, founder and president of Insite Security, a security and risk management firm for high net worth individuals and corporations in New York.
“A little bit of due diligence about being careful may mitigate that vulnerability and save you a lot of money, litigation, and heartache,” adds Peter Turecek, a senior managing director with Kroll, a risk consulting firm based in New York.
What the Pros Can Do to Help Protect You
Most firms start with an in-depth security and risk assessment to help identify potential points of vulnerability—from what information is available in the public domain, to who is on the household staff, to what sort of security systems are in place at home, at work, and for all technologies such as computers.
Once the assessments are completed, there are a wide range of strategies that firms implement to take on cyber thieves, travel dangers, family office vulnerabilities, communication security gaps, residential loopholes, and crisis management—the array of areas unique to the wealthy.