Senior executives may be the most significant weak spot in an organization’s cybersecurity chain, according to research from The Bunker, a UK information security firm.
With privileged access to valuable company information, top executives are a prime target for both phishing scams and hacking.
The report details five common mistakes executives make, with the first being senior leaders don’t recognize they are top targets for cybercriminals.
The C-suite often considers digital security to be outside their range of expertise, viewing cybersecurity as under the purview of the IT department. That’s another common mistake. Senior executives need to take ownership and use IT security best practices daily.
According to The Bunker, focusing too much on external threats is a third misstep. An IBM X-Force® report found that 60% of data breaches were caused by members of staff either accidentally exposing information or acting with malicious intent.
Another blunder made by leaders is the notion that cloud providers become responsible for all backup and security of stored data and devices.
“There is a lot of misunderstanding about migrating to the cloud, including the effect on company-wide security procedures, the provider’s data retention and backup policies and how this impacts business continuity plans. Unless stated, cloud providers do not guarantee complete system security or data backup procedures as standard,” the report says.
Then there’s email; 92.4% of malware was delivered via email, according to Verizon’s 2018 Data Breach Investigations Report.
Executives may be opening their companies up to risk by failing to use cloud-hosted email properly. Common errors include sending and receiving Personally Identifiable Information via email and using the same password for multiple logins including email, cloud services, and VPN access.
Adopting a “security-first” mentality and instilling this attitude into each member of an organization is the best way to prevent a cyberattack or data breach.
Read what actions executives can take to remedy these mistakes in The Bunker report.
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