Jim Blankenship is a fee-only financial advisor, blogger and author. His passion is to help people fulfill their dream of retirement on their own terms. Having started his career in the finance industry in the late 1980s, he successfully launched his own firm in the early 2000s. For nearly 30 years, Jim has been working to educate and objectively assist individuals and families in preparing for their financial future.
Before moving forward in the case, the term “Fee-Only” should be clarified for those who may be unfamiliar. In the article: Fee-Only Financial Planner: What’s the Difference? Forbes describes this type of advising:
...registered investment advisors with a fiduciary responsibility to act in their clients' best interest. They do not accept any fees or compensation based on product sales. Fee-only advisors have fewer inherent conflicts of interest, and they generally provide more comprehensive advice.
Blankenship takes special effort to ensure the “fee-only” portion of his title is included, as it is both an important fact and a source of pride. There are a number of untrustworthy people in the finance industry who act in their own self-interest. Therefore, ensuring that customers know that there are as few conflicts of interest as possible speaks directly to one’s integrity. Jim explores this designation and perspective a bit further on the “About” page of his website: http://financialducksinarow.com/about/
Jim decided that Fee-Only financial planning was the business model he would work from – where there are no products for sale, only objective financial advice, delivered from the point of view of a fiduciary, strictly in the best interest of the client. This method of delivery of financial advice is a dramatic difference when compared to the “old line” sorts of financial advisors, where sales of a particular financial product, such as insurance, annuities, or mutual funds, is the primary focus.
Jim’s desire to maintain an object point of view for his clients is a meaningful note for later this study.
Some time ago, during his business launch, Jim also started his website. The intent was to use the site as a marketing tool to promote his financial planning business. The site has also been used to initialize connection with his audience and readership, which has grown. It also serves to develop potential client relationships.
Given this purpose, the value of the site itself is clear. To suffer a compromise would almost guarantee a loss in some capacity, such the loss of time, readership or brand trust.
Unfortunately, Jim did experience a website compromise.
I've had 2-3 different times when my blog was hacked, causing errors and invalid pages to show up. Sucuri's team fixed the problem right away and got me back to work within just a few hours. In addition [Sucuri] provided me with procedures (best practices) that can be helpful in avoiding such attacks in the future.
The problem was that a frequently hacked and vulnerable website and the solution was the security team at Sucuri. The fix was short. Simple. There are not any ancillary facts required.
Industry based studies have shown that financial businesses are many times more likely to be targeted, and subsequently are more likely to incur an attack. The driving force behind the heightened interest in financial businesses is the possible high value from a successful breach.
The concept, alone, is daunting considering the prevalence of website attacks. Additional research shows the number of successful attacks and further highlights the significance of this concept. Knowingly or unknowingly, businesses like Jim Blankenship’s firm exist as targets daily. Without the proper preventative methods, those financial oriented businesses can experience devastation. Yet, as seen through Jim’s experience, the solution can be very simple.
The clincher here is the clear evidence of value that is often difficult to measure. As noted earlier, Jim has built his career on his ability to be an objective problem solver. In this instance, that fact is impactful because he has a more calculated approach in how he invests in solutions. Sucuri’s security solution can very easily be a “set it and forget it” style, which allows for minimal customer involvement while reaping maximum consumer experience.
The advice Jim shares as a result of his experience with Sucuri is:
If you don't want to learn to be a system administrator and you want to be able to resolve hacker/malware attacks quickly, Sucuri is an excellent choice to take care of this part of your business. It's one less thing to worry about.