Experts form ID Theft Advisory Board

An epidemic of ID theft – nine million cases reported annually and 262 million ID records reported stolen since 2005 – is the driver of Merchants Information Solutions’ creation of the U.S.’s first volunteer business-government Board dedicated to stopping ID thieves by creating and delivering the latest and best prevention practices.

High level experts in ID Theft and Information Technology from the FBI, Avnet,, Merchants Information Solutions, cyber forensics specialist and a media crisis expert are among the founders of the Merchants ID Theft Advisory Board.

ID theft gangs are often months ahead of law enforcement with new tactics. From getting gang members hired at target companies and new hacking techniques to pretending to be legitimate vendors with the purpose of data access, ID thieves are creative and relentless. The Board plans to try and level the playing field by getting effective prevention knowledge and methods out rapidly and frequently.

The Board will create and distribute free a sophisticated and up-to-the-minute best practices guide in the prevention of ID theft and data breach events.

Most data breach events occur through social engineering including current and former employees and vendors who are often part of criminal networks. Though organizations may have protections in place, the ever-evolving and sinister tactics by ID thieves require ongoing prevention updates.

Pribish, a national authority and speaker on ID theft prevention and recovery and Board co-chair Gregg Ostro, a media expert experienced in data breach crises researched extensively to find the right mix of Board members. The result is a group of highly qualified specialists from leading organizations with a direct interest in minimizing the legal, financial and brand image impact of data breach events.

The all volunteer Merchants ID Theft Advisory Board includes: Kent Ailes, VP Risk Management, AZ Federal Credit Union; David Beauchamp, Partner, Bryan Cave, LLP; Michael Benoit, Partner, Hudson Cook, LLP; Paul Charles, International Entrepreneur & Principal, Charles & Associates, LLC; John Iannarelli, Supervisory Special Agent, FBI; Christine Jones, Chief Counsel,; Gregg Ostro, President & CEO, Go Media Cos.; Steve Phillips, Chief Information Officer, Avnet; Mike O’Shaughnessy, COO, Forensic Consulting Solutions, LLC; Scott Smith, President & Managing Director, NXG Strategies; Russ Johnson, President & CEO, Merchants Information Solutions, Inc.; Mark Pribish, VP & ID Theft Practice Leader, Merchants Information Solutions, Inc.

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