Insights

Cyber attacks and the C-suite: Tips for senior executives to stay safe at home

Posted by
Anne Marie Quinn
Insights

Cyber attacks and the C-suite: Tips for senior executives to stay safe at home

Écrit par
Anne Marie Quinn

Cyber attacks that target C-suite executives are becoming all too real. Beyond posing a significant risk to executives themselves, these attacks are a significant threat to an organization’s reputation, given the sensitive corporate information senior executives have access to. With more executives working outside the security of their office networks during the COVID-19 pandemic, the risk level of falling victim to an attack has only increased.  

Cyber criminals are only too willing and able to go to incredible lengths to gain access to a senior executive’s corporate log-in or bank account. Information taken from sources as innocuous as business v-cards or Facebook photos can be key to attaining corporate IP, sensitive customer data or cash.

Senior leaders need to protect themselves and their organizations from these attacks while working from home. Here are a few tips:

Secure your home network and computer

Use encrypted communications and keep your security software up to date. Do not open files, attachments or links from unfamiliar sources. Also, be sure that you’re using a VPN – chances are, your home network isn’t as secure as your office network and your home modem is an easy target for a criminal (especially if the modem password has never been changed).

Secure your social media presence

With cyber scams on the rise during the COVID-19 era, only share personal information with verifiable sources. Don’t share information in response to unsolicited requests and be cautious about what you put on social media. Create unique passwords for each of your accounts and when granting social media access to employees posting on your behalf, share access information via phone and never by email or text.

Secure your email

This is very important, as all organizations are relying heavily on email during the pandemic and some have suffered because of lax protocols. While it’s tempting, do not share Excel files or other documents that contain large amounts of sensitive information. Use all available security tools your email platform allows, such as multi-factor authentication. Do not keep any information that can be used to compromise other accounts in email inboxes or archives.

Being aware of these threats can help you stay ahead of them and mitigate the reputational impact of being hit by a C-suite targeted cyber attack.

Looking for more communications guidance during the COVID-19 recovery period? Check out our communication evaluation checklist which asks a series of simple questions to help you determine what communications are right for your brand right now.

Cyber attacks that target C-suite executives are becoming all too real. Beyond posing a significant risk to executives themselves, these attacks are a significant threat to an organization’s reputation, given the sensitive corporate information senior executives have access to. With more executives working outside the security of their office networks during the COVID-19 pandemic, the risk level of falling victim to an attack has only increased.  

Cyber criminals are only too willing and able to go to incredible lengths to gain access to a senior executive’s corporate log-in or bank account. Information taken from sources as innocuous as business v-cards or Facebook photos can be key to attaining corporate IP, sensitive customer data or cash.

Senior leaders need to protect themselves and their organizations from these attacks while working from home. Here are a few tips:

Secure your home network and computer

Use encrypted communications and keep your security software up to date. Do not open files, attachments or links from unfamiliar sources. Also, be sure that you’re using a VPN – chances are, your home network isn’t as secure as your office network and your home modem is an easy target for a criminal (especially if the modem password has never been changed).

Secure your social media presence

With cyber scams on the rise during the COVID-19 era, only share personal information with verifiable sources. Don’t share information in response to unsolicited requests and be cautious about what you put on social media. Create unique passwords for each of your accounts and when granting social media access to employees posting on your behalf, share access information via phone and never by email or text.

Secure your email

This is very important, as all organizations are relying heavily on email during the pandemic and some have suffered because of lax protocols. While it’s tempting, do not share Excel files or other documents that contain large amounts of sensitive information. Use all available security tools your email platform allows, such as multi-factor authentication. Do not keep any information that can be used to compromise other accounts in email inboxes or archives.

Being aware of these threats can help you stay ahead of them and mitigate the reputational impact of being hit by a C-suite targeted cyber attack.

Looking for more communications guidance during the COVID-19 recovery period? Check out our communication evaluation checklist which asks a series of simple questions to help you determine what communications are right for your brand right now.

Anne Marie Quinn
Senior Vice President & Partner
Drawing on an extensive background in government, politics, public affairs and issues management, Anne Marie provides counsel across a variety of sectors, including financial services, real estate development, food manufacturing, information technology and municipal government. She excels at helping clients navigate the complex world of public policy and government in ways that build relationships and get results.
Anne Marie Quinn
Vice-présidente principale et associée
Mettant à profit une vaste expérience dans les milieux gouvernemental, politique, des affaires publiques et de la gestion d’enjeux, Anne Marie offre ses conseils dans une gamme de secteurs, y compris les services financiers, l’aménagement immobilier, la fabrication d’aliments, les technologies de l’information et l’administration municipale. Elle excelle en matière de soutien aux clients quand il est question d’aider ces derniers à s’orienter dans l’univers complexe de la politique publique et du gouvernement, afin d’établir des relations et d’obtenir des résultats.