Cybersecurity on Every Level: Three Things About Executive Protection

Jordan Cueto | October 10, 2017 at 2:19 pm

cybersecurity three things executive

Just this month, we’ve talked about the crucial skills required for a better cybersecurity posture. Today, we’re going to get deeper as we dissect what we can do for one of the most important positions in a company: the executives. With cybersecurity risks at an all-time high and with more cybersecurity holes to patch up, the executive positions now have more risks as an entry point for attackers.

Stolen credentials used for authentication, executive data breach, and even authority overrides – these are just some of the risks that companies today face for their executives. How do we lessen these? Here are three ways:


Conduct a risk analysis

The first step is to always conduct a comprehensive risk analysis for every part of the firm. This includes identifying the crucial individuals in the organization who are critical to the company’s operations. Assessing and predicting the impact of attacks on these individuals are the first steps to grasp your overall cybersecurity posture.

The following questions will help you establish a solid analysis:

  • Has there been a history of threats among these executives?
  • Do they travel regularly to dangerous places?
  • To what kinds of attacks are the most vulnerable?

Getting these down is a surefire way in establishing a solid analysis of your executives’ risks. After determining which individuals need protection, learn enough about their lifestyles – just enough for you to have a clearer picture of what kinds of risks you’re facing and what security measures you’ll need to take. It’s important to keep in mind that risks are ever-changing and a flexible baseline security level for executives is always needed.

Robert Siciliano, a cybersecurity expert, said that “Risk analysis should start off with their home life, where they live, the current crime climate in the area, whether or not they have a home security system.”


Educate and insist (even if they resist)

It’s human nature to be unhappy about people scrutinizing your work and personal life, and this also applies to executives. However, that’s the price of achieving success in business in combination with having lots of responsibility. To make it less painful, the company’s IT experts need to demonstrate why security is so important.

The best way to insist the importance of cybersecurity is by bringing the executives to their usual habits and showing them its flaws.

Jason Taule, CSO at FEO Systems, says that this can be alleviated by conducting “periodic ego searches” or tasking executives to do a simple web search of their names. This show how easy it is to access an individual’s information in the web. This will establish a viewpoint how a hacker could easily find out all kinds of information about the executive and tailor an attack that leverages from that knowledge.

Another way is to have the executives look at their email spam filters and show them how phishing emails have been sent to them. Taule says that even the attack didn’t go through, the sheer volume of these attempts should be enough to get the point across.


 Ensure cybersecurity across platforms

As always, an overall security is always a must. Solutions, like Office 365, are all deployable across many platforms with a single account. This helps in streamlining many business processes for security.

Most of the time, executives use the same device for both work and personal tasks. This exposes devices to a lot of potential threats outside the company. Taule even emphasizes that it might be better to issue work-specific devices to separate personal and work risks. This isn’t only true for executives but for the whole company as well.

In any case, it’s always mandatory to have the devices that the executives use to be highly secure and have the latest protections. You can even take it further by tailoring specific solutions for your business processes through cloud platforms like Azure that has its own core security systems.

With the year almost reaching its last quarter, it is more imperative to stay ahead of the curve. Stay tuned to Tech One Global for more articles about the latest trends in tech and help your company reach new heights.

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