Top executives are one of the most preferred targets of cybercriminals and other malicious attackers. They’re more certain to possess important info — or have higher accessibility to such data.
That is why businesses need to ensure that C-level execs and other top execs maintain the most robust data security policies and use adequate security technology, even when traveling to high-risk areas.
According to Steve Durbin, MD of the Data Security Forum, an independent association devoted to examining and fixing critical issues in data security and risk management, “pretty much whoever has accessibility to potentially valuable information is at threat of cyber-attack.”
Tips to Secure Executives Online
Following are some precautions that businesses may take to enhance executive security and prevent them from becoming the point of entry for a severe security attack.
Making Obvious to Executives That They Are Targets.
Executives are too busy to be concerned about becoming the next victim of cyber-attacks. However, this is something they should consider.
According to Thirsk, an executive’s “digital footprint” should be acknowledged, and deficiencies must be managed. According to him, social accounts must be authenticated, registered, and monitored.
However, persuading executives to accept security is challenging. According to Paul Boulanger, VP and chief security expert of SoCal Privacy Consultants, “every data I’ve seen suggests that CEOs are the least prone to adopt guidelines that they require everyone else to comply with.” “This is because they are the individuals most willing to forego security for ease.”
Instead of relying on CEOs to work securely, corporations must confirm that technology controls are implemented. “For example, for access to corporate email to be authorized, the mail server is required to make it obligatory for phones to have password lock and encryption enabled,” Boulanger explains. “Email accessibility is automatically withdrawn if the executive or other person deactivates the password protection.”
The Executive Should Get Educated and Consider Threats Seriously.
More recently, phishing attempts and malware are systematic methods for persuading CEOs to disclose crucial details that hackers want to obtain. “When it comes to current dangers that have damaged CEOs and their companies, phishing attempts and malware don’t get the attention they deserve.” They probably are not considered seriously at the board table on a routine basis.
Executive desires to link to a continuous flow of up-to-date info, and this desire can lead them to be overly ready to click on what appears to be an urgent or exciting message.
At the same time, CEOs require that their personal and corporate data channels link to a single device. “Combining many security requirements onto a single device is a nightmare waiting to occur.”
It is up to security and IT professionals to persuade senior executives of such risks and take action before an event occurs. “IT leaders must persuade top management that operational and personal cyber protection must be addressed in-depth with seriousness and desire to change attitude.”
Phishing can take many different types, many aimed at high-level executives.
It is vital to remember that attackers can exploit public info on social networking sites like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn and create targets’ profiles. Hackers can use this profile to personalize a phishing attempt or persuade the victim.
Make Secure Email Usage a Top Concern.
Please remember that emails are among the most prevalent ways for CEOs to attack. “We’re seeing more and more advanced email attacks on CEOs and the finance team,” says Barr Snyderwine, head of information systems at Hargrove, event services provide
It’s a typical spoofing attempt, trying to deceive someone into paying to what appears to be a legitimate bank or site. They recently spoofed an email from the executive to provide payment by calling the AP team.” It’s fascinating since mobile phones take time. Executives also receive emails from hackers impersonating other executives to submit cash.
In addition, have standards that require an email to confirm with the recipient and verification from another executive. Training has been tremendously beneficial. Right now, our executives are identifying the fake emails.
Secure Executives When They Travel for Business.
Cyber-attacks can happen to executives everywhere, but the risk is exceptionally significant when traveling internationally.
Any information they require remote connection to it should be made accessible via a secure route, like a protected remote desktop or virtual private network (VPN), or placed on a hardware-encrypted USB device that hacker can’t decrypt,
Wi-Fi connections, either at restaurants, hotels, conference centers, airports, or other areas, can be unsafe. Malicious people can acquire access to an executive’s mobile device or laptop by setting up a simple fake Wi-Fi hotspot.
Boost the IT Infrastructure’s Protection.
It should go without mentioning that having a sound protection system in place will lessen or prevent the damage caused by cyber attacks on an individual. However, it’s essential to avoid data hacks directed at CEOs.
We recommend beginning with the essential information resources that a business is trying to secure, rather than with the persons. It will inevitably lead to a review of naive individuals who may be prone to a range of risks, including spear-phishing attempts.
It will also facilitate detecting unpatched programs that enable technical security flaws to be misused.
Don’t Neglect the Importance of Training.
Executives, like all staff, must be informed of the significance of security. If these individuals are needed to access critical info, virtual network solutions, encryption, and, above all, training and education should be considered. But they are connecting all of this to the business advantages that an individual will earn by embracing a safer strategy for information sharing and use.
Executives must attend frequent security awareness training, keep their allocated mobile devices, laptops, and workstations up-to-date and patched, and use secure communication tools and VPN.
Restrictions may have a short-term impact, but if you cannot win over executives’ minds and hearts by demonstrating obvious personal and business benefits, they will fail as users find solutions to get their tasks done.