Executives Are Now the Top Targets for Cyber-Attackers

Businessman on blurred background using antivirus to block a cyber attack 3D rendering

Executives Are Now the Top Targets for Cyber-Attackers.

Hackers are going after executives through professional cyber-attacks. Here’s why they are setting their sights on the “C” Suite.

It’s common knowledge that businesses are exposed to more cyber threats than ever before. Now, with the arrival of the IoT that exposer could multiply exponentially.  Increased exposure means there is no escaping the reality that cyber-criminals will, and are, making endless attempts to gain access to your business networks. Attempts include social engineering, phishing, and ransomware, all intended to exploit any weak links they can find. Once a criminal gains access to your network, they stand to make short-term profits of hundreds to thousands, while your business stands to lose many thousands to millions.  The only thing worse than finding out your business is the victim of a successful cyber-attack, is finding out that you were the weak link that allowed the cyber-criminal into your network. Cyber-criminals have a particular interest in targeting executive staff. Unfortunately, there is a common misperception shared by many executives themselves, that they are less accessible and more insulated, but the reality is quite the opposite.

Read on to learn these interesting reasons why cyber-attackers seek out those in the executive suite.

 

Travel and Public Connections Make Attacks Easier

One reason executives are often more accessible is their frequent travel. Whether traveling for business or pleasure, top executives often need to access critical business data and communications on the go. This seems innocuous enough, until, you realize that travel means exposure to public WiFi connections in the cyber-criminal’s favorite venues: airports, restaurants and large events. A criminal may even open their own network to serve as a trap. You may think you’re connecting to a secure WiFi when you’re really connecting directly to a cyber-criminal. That means any bad actor lurking nearby can connect to the same network and attempt to gain access to your information.

 

E-Mail Scams Are Harder to Detect Than Ever

A decade ago, it didn’t take much to trick people into opening a sketchy-looking email. Unfortunately, today’s cyber-attacks are more sophisticated and difficult to spot than ever. For instance, take the recent trend of “Whaling.” It’s a bit like phishing, except it targets one high-level individual. Whalers, as they’re called, often target executives by sending emails that are identical to those they receive and read every day. By posing as a known client or third party, the scammer’s email is not scrutinized and has a frighteningly effective open rate by unsuspecting victims.

 

Executives Often Have Critical Information

Executives, due to their higher permission levels, have access to confidential information such as financial records, personnel data and proprietary intellectual property which is in high demand among cyber-criminals.

 

Cyber-Attacks Won’t Stop

As you can see, there are plenty of reasons why a cyber-criminal would choose to target a higher-level executive. And, sadly, the number of attacks will only increase. You deserve to work in an environment where confidential information stays that way.

Get in touch with masterIT to see why all our clients’ networks are available, secure and mobile. (901) 261-7407

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