Executive Security - Everything You Should Know About Online Executive Protection

By Haseeb Awan

Protect Your Highest-Risk Executives from Targeted (Mobile Based) Cyber Attacks

Employee account takeover can result in significant losses for companies. However, senior executives, board members, and employees with access privileges are all particularly vulnerable to attack. The attackers may employ novel methods to gain their accounts access that are lucrative and have a financial motive behind it. 

While enterprise security teams can protect corporate logins, executives' accounts are not under corporate control. If an executive's password is compromised as a result of a data breach, their unprotected accounts may provide entry points for a determined attacker to gain access to company resources.

The online world is becoming increasingly personal. Because of the ease with which personal data can be collected via online capabilities such as "cookies," companies are now much stronger at targeting executives' needs and customizing to best meet their desires.

However, there is a negative aspect to this targeting: malicious hackers are focusing on the executives and gaining access to corporate systems and information through them. Not only do executives enjoy VIP protocol, but they also typically have greater access to sensitive information. Unfortunately, they often have less stringent security restrictions as compared to other employees, frequently travel – relying on public Wi-Fi and mobile – which are prone to an "entourage" of powerful people who provide access.

Organizations can keep track of corporate credentials to lower the risk of any breach exposures to keep attackers out of enterprise accounts. Executives may reuse vulnerable passwords across private logins that your deployed security team is unable to monitor, and any account associated with it may become an asset for an intruder. 

It is worth noting that:

  1. Executives in the C-suite were 12 times more vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
  2. 71% of C-suite cyber attacks were influenced by monetary benefits.
  3. C-suite executives are identified as the top cyber-security risk by 40% of companies

Threat Landscape

Cybercriminals are becoming more advanced over time, employing increasingly diverse and advanced attack vectors to reach unsuspecting phone devices. One of the most dreaded attacks involving unsecured [public] Wi-Fi hotspots is the man-in-the-middle [MITM] attack, in which data is intercepted by a scammer over an unsecured connection without the mobile user knowledge.

A man-in-the-middle [MITM] attack on an executive target is a hacker's ideal scenario. They can gain access to the most sensitive personal data (especially that is linked with company data) while their victim is unaware.

Best Practices: Behavioral Changes to Risk Exposure

You can also apply these standard protocols to secure your critical information:

  1. Training is essential. It must be tailored to the varying roles that exist within an organization, especially for those at the executive level. Executives must be educated on the scope and nature of the cyber threats they face, as well as the critical role they play in formulating their cyber security.
  2. Decent cyber security practice is a behavioral issue. Although this appears to be a reasonable security feature, this could end up being harmful for the organization in other ways. With several mobile devices connected to Wi-Fi-primarily, prohibiting access to Wi-Fi hotspots can result in a significant decrease in productivity. People must stay connected to be efficiently productive both within and outside the organization. Regardless of the security risks, it is intuitive for mobile workers to pursue Wi-Fi connectivity. Many employees do so even if their employers have prohibited them from using unsecured public Wi-Fi. However, adjusting how people access their information and protect it can be challenging, particularly if it requires additional steps. Employees must engage in more effort and time into making cyber security best practices. The practices include building their virtual private networks to encrypt communications threads, use password managers, and monitoring should be a part of their daily routine. 
  3. Executives must also recognize that their cyber risk extends far beyond the firm's front door. Data governance, training on identification of social engineering attacks and phishing, guidance on limiting exposure, as well as keeping yourself aware of emerging fraud schemes can all help the VIPs reduce their cyber risk. Resilience commences with executives becoming aware of the situation and receiving guidelines for managing their strategic profile (i.e. cyber risk).

Managing risk - EFANI got you covered!

As cyber threats keep rising, cybercriminals have their sights set on the C-suite. To protect those executives and the enterprise as a whole, organizations must treat their executives as assets, accounting for executives' unique cybersecurity threats – both at home and work – and actively attempting to address them.

The cyber exposure of executives must be treated as a critical security issue for the enterprise. A pivotal security issue would be addressed, and it would be on the firm's radar at all times. That is exactly what you need to do when it comes to executive or VIP cyber risk.

Any personal account takeover will be used to gain access to your enterprise resources. As we’ve learned that a threat actor impersonates the executive and social engineer colleagues into taking risky actions. Efani's Black Seal (premium plan - invites only) and SAFE (i.e. Basic Plan) allow you to close these overlooked security gaps - thus providing extensive mobile protection, including guaranteed sim swap prevention at minimum.


A high-profile data breach is reported almost every day. Consequently, enterprises and their executives are becoming increasingly conscious of the risks they encounter. Even if enterprises can recognize the most serious security threats, most still struggle to strike a balance between security and productivity. They must realize, even so, that burying their heads in the sand is not an effective solution. Speak to our VP to learn more about Black Seal or call us at 855-55-EFANI.

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