In today’s day and age, often a lot of executives end up being the victims of digital attacks. Why is executive protection important to an organization? It is because executives are targeted as they have access to a large amount of sensitive corporate information that can be exploited for financial gain. It is also because the internet has made it very easy to hack someone digitally. There has been an exponential increase in the number of executives who have been hacked using their personal information. It is for such reasons that digital privacy precautions have become a key component of most executive protection programs.

Main Tactics in Digital Executive Targeting  

There have been many studies and researches which tell that cybercrime against business, especially attacks on executives, has grown over the years. It is reported that nearly half of all businesses have experienced some sort of data breach. Phishing and impersonation are two of the main tactics which are used to target executives and they have been explained underneath for the perusal of all our readers.

  1. Phishing:

This tactic is used by hackers to conduct digital attacks on executives. In such scams, the hackers conduct extensive online research on the executive and then use the data to craft email or telephone campaigns for the crucial executive. If the campaign proves successful, it gives the attacker access to the executive’s computer system which he or she can use for his malicious intentions. Perhaps the most destructive aspect of phishing attacks is that they require only one successful attempt. This gives hackers the time to try with as many approaches as they can think of until one of them works. if and when it does, the result can be very damaging to the person or entity that has been hacked. Another closely related tactic is a ransomware attack where a hacker locks up all of a company’s data unless a ransom is paid.

  1. CEO Impersonation:

Another major tactic for targeting executives is impersonation. In this case, the attacker impersonates the CEO or other high-ranking executives of the company and then tricks another executive into wiring funds or disclosing information. These types of scams cost businesses hundreds of million dollars on an annual basis.

Main Sources of Executive Privacy Threats

It is somewhat easy for attackers to find personal information about most people online, including and especially prominent individuals like business executives. Attackers use some tools to research their targets and make a plan, which includes the following tools: –

  1. People-Search Sites:

These sites find information about individuals from publicly available sources and compile them into comprehensive records. Such records are used by attackers when they go about planning a scam on potential targets.

  1. Marketing Databases:

Companies develop profiles of individual consumers when they use tracking cookies to offer ads to people who surf the web. The ads are used for offering the best experiences to internet users but when hackers access such profiles, they use the information for their phishing attacks.

  1. Extracurricular Organizations:

There are high chances that the executives of your company are involved in some type of community work. Often the websites of such organizations have information on the executives which is used by the executive for their malicious intentions.

  1. Social Media:

Social media is often a very good source for attackers to gain insights into the personal lives of executives. Even accounts of the executive’s family are often examined by hackers to gain insights for their phishing scams.

  1. Personal Devices:

Some executives use their smartphones and executive personal computers for work which are not as secure as company-maintained devices. These devices may have viruses and other malware which makes them an easy target for hackers.

Main Principles of Executive Privacy Protection 

You need to be prepared thoroughly to secure the online privacy of your executives. It is to be noted that digital privacy protection is not about destroying all data. It is about making your executive an unappealing mark. Online scammers have a lot on their plate and if the amount of content on your executive is too less, they will most probably aim for easier targets. You should actively seek out ways in which you can defend yourself and your executives from such attacks. It is important that you change with the times and remain updated with it, to remain one step ahead of the scammers. You need to be sure that you are following tips from the executive protection 2020 guidebook.

Steps to Make Your Executives Unappealing Targets

The following three steps will definitely help you in making your executive an unappealing target as such steps make for very good executive protection tips. These steps will entail how to get into executive protection.

  1. Opt-Out of People-Search Sites:

Most online people-search sites have an opt-out process that allows people to remove personal information from their databases. Even if the process may seem somewhat complicated, you should definitely try to conduct as many opt-outs as is possible.

  1. Lock Down Devices:

It has been that executives often have extended access to corporate systems because of their work. It is important here that an executive has less access because then a potential hack would be less dangerous. It will allow the executive to be more productive as he would have to spend less time worrying about security protocols. If and when you pair support resources to the executive, this approach will work well as he or she can access information whenever it is needed.

  1. Research Data Sources:

You should conduct regular searches for sources of personally identifiable information and then take according to the type of the site. For sites, you control, make sure to not give too much critical information about the executive. Ask third-party sites to remove or minimize the presence of personal information on their websites. If there are any unsecured profiles of executives, get them locked down so that personal information isn’t available to others.

 The Bottom Line

Given the exponential increase in the number of digital attacks on executives over the year, it is imperative that you take all precautions to ensure the protection of your executives. You can hire a reputation management agency for a better outcome if you feel your in-house efforts are inadequate to control the problem at hand. There are so many agencies who offer such services in every possible price range so there is every chance of you finding an agency whose online reputation management cost is affordable.