Neal O’Farrell

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Neal O’Farrell is quite simply one of the longest serving security experts on the planet, 40 years and counting.

He’s advised half a dozen governments, served on the Federal Communications Commission’s Cybersecurity Roundtable, and as head of the Identity Theft Council, led the fight against fraud and identity theft for more than a decade.

Current and past advisory roles include:

  • The Federal Communications Commission
  • President Obama’s STOCK Act Panel
  • The State of California Cybersecurity Apprenticeship Program
  • The Ohio Cyber Collaborative Commission
  • The National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NIST)
  • Cybertrust America
  • The EP3 Foundation
  • Credit Sesame
  • Safe Teens Online

More than 20 years ago, in 2003 Neal was the first expert to train an entire police department on identity theft awareness. He went on to lead the Identity Theft Council, an award-winning non-profit that has assisted thousands of victims of identity theft. Through his work with the Council, Neal has helped set new standards in the way victims of identity theft are treated and supported, and in how law enforcement is trained.

He also played a key role in introducing one of the most important advances in the fight against identity theft – the first child credit freeze law in California. It later became a national standard and is now Federal law.

Neal has worked with hundreds of police departments, Neighborhood Watch groups and community action organizations. He also takes on complex cases referred to him by the FBI and U.S. Secret Service. In 2011 the Council was honored with the 2011 Editors Choice Award from SC Magazine, one of the cyber security industry’s most prestigious awards. Previous winners include the NSA.

His book on identity theft has been used by three of the top five U.S. banks to educate their customers on identity theft prevention. Neal is also the Executive Producer of the documentary series In the Company of Thieves that goes inside the world of professional identity thieves, and has appeared on the Discovery Channel’s Investigation Discovery series.

Neal has taught security to numerous audiences including Facebook, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, Ameriprise, Merrill Lynch, Stifel Nicolaus, US Bank, US Trust, BKR International, the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), and the National Association of Secretaries of State, as well as the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, the High Tech Crimes Investigators Association (HTCIA), the California Financial Crimes Investigators Association (CFCIA), the California High Technology Crime Advisory Committee (HTCAC), and the International Association of Financial Crimes Investigators.

He has been quoted in numerous publications around the world including the New York Times, Forbes, Inc., the Wall St. Journal, the Huffington Post, CNN Money, BusinessWeek, USA Today, SmartMoney, CNET, Information Week, the National Law Journal, Today.com, NBC, CBS, CNBC, Fox Business, and the South China Morning Post.

MENTAL HEALTH ADVOCATE

After years of struggling with his own personal mental health issues, Neal is now focused on changing the way we address mental illness and wellness.

  • As part of the NIST Global City Teams Challenge (GCTC), he led a study into how future smart cities could help to improve the mental health of residents.
  • He’s leading a UN study into how communities around the world can improve their psychological resilience in the face of growing disasters, crises, and climate change.
  • He currently teaches cybersecurity teams at Fortune 500 firms how to manage the chronic stress and burnout that often comes with the job.
  • And he’s taught stress management techniques to audiences in more than 50 countries.