By Dr. Chris Pierson, Founder & CEO, BlackCloak
Major firms and corporations already know full well the risks and dangers inherent to their executives’ security. Executive Protection is an established business function often managed by the Chief Security Officer (CSO). Each year, they spend millions to provide security for their top-level executives. For example, the security bill for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg tops $10 million.
There’s no discounting that physical security is important. But without digital executive protection that extends to your executive’s personal lives, they and the company are still at great risk.
High-level executives are increasingly being targeted on their home networks and in their personal accounts. That’s because cybercriminals know that many don’t have the same protection securing their personal digital networks. And with executives being entrusted with a wealth of confidential information as well as access to your company’s systems, digital executive protection may be one of the most important investments you can make.
The recent Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) revealed that C-suite executives were 12 times more likely to be targeted in cyberattacks and 71% of these cyberattacks were financially motivated.
Hackers and cybercriminals employ many different tactics when launching a cyberattack. The success of their efforts is evident in the fact that seven in 10 passwords can be found on the dark web. One executive password is all a bad actor needs to log in to the corporate network. Then, they can access sensitive data or even engage in a form of identity theft by convincing other personnel – via email or phone – that they are the executive, subsequently using that trust to commit more nefarious deeds.
And an executive’s digital footprint isn’t the only thing that is at risk. The information that is traded by bad actors on the dark web, such as home addresses, can leave executives vulnerable to physical crimes such as kidnapping and ransom, or worse.
The Weak Point in Your Company’s Defenses – The Home Network
The risk of exposure for your organization’s sensitive data isn’t limited to what lies within its four walls. And neither should you limit your cybersecurity to your in-office network. Executives consistently access your company’s network and data while away from the office, especially in today’s environment that finds so many executives working primarily from home.
Consider these startling statistics and you’ll quickly realize why digital executive protection services are so necessary:
- One in five home Wi-Fi networks are not secure.
- Three in five home devices lack antivirus software.
- One in four devices are infected with malware.
- Nine in 10 cell phones and tablets lack security software.
Cybercriminals can easily access any poorly secured or unprotected devices linked to a home network — laptops, tablets, and smartphone are all at risk. Once access is achieved, the cybercriminal can move laterally across the network to steal corporate secrets or plant ransomware. This can cause a multitude of detrimental problems for a business, affecting both its reputation and its finances.
It’s also important to consider why some executives might be prone to be a target. They might be working on a new product line or pending M&A. Or they may simply earn an especially high salary that makes them attractive to opportunistic malicious actors. You need to be prepared before the unfortunate occurs — otherwise, you’re simply building a moat after the invaders are already inside.
Secure Your Executives – Grant Both Them and Yourself Peace of Mind
Security is a serious consideration in today’s risky and dangerous landscape, with the need to be resilient in both physical and digital protection services. In fact, it’s more than just a consideration — it’s an absolute necessity. And it must extend beyond the individual executive to provide protection for their family as well, including any smart devices they interact with.
Granting them peace of mind with an advanced cybersecurity solution affords you peace of mind as well. You’ll be adding a much-needed layer of protection to your organization, while also granting your C-suite executives a welcome and appreciated perk.
Learn more about BlackCloak’s plans for cybersecurity and privacy for high-profile individuals. Or, contact us to request a consultation. We’ll help you extend protection to your executive’s digital life and health, so they, their families, and your organization are protected 24×7.
About the Author
Dr. Chris Pierson is the Founder & CEO of BLACKCLOAK.
Dr. Pierson serves on the Department of Homeland Security’s Data Privacy & Integrity Advisory Committee, DHS Cybersecurity Subcommittee, and is a Distinguished Fellow of the Ponemon Institute. Chris has been on the front lines of cybersecurity and fighting cybercrime and has over 20 years – with DHS, President of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Arizona Infragard, and in various other roles as a Chief Information Security Officer for financial companies. Chris was a founding executive of Viewpost, a FinTech payments company, serving as their CISO and General Counsel and was also the first Chief Privacy Officer, SVP for the Royal Bank of Scotland’s (RBS) U.S. operations leading its privacy and data protection program. Chris was also a corporate attorney for Lewis and Roca where he established its CyberSecurity Practice representing companies who were hacked and fell victim to data breaches. Chris is a globally recognized keynote speaker & cybersecurity thought leader, board advisor for startups, and is frequently quoted by the media on cybersecurity & privacy.
Chris can be reached online at @BLACKCLOAKcyber, @DrChrisPierson and at our company website www.blackcloak.io.