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Awareness of vulnerability is a major problem amongst senior executives

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The CEO risks being the weakest link as security measures struggle to keep pace with innovation, says The Bunker.

A recently published report from The Bunker identifies the weakest link in the corporate cybersecurity chain as the senior executives that cybercriminals target when committing serious data breaches. 

According to the white paper, Are You the Weakest Link? How Senior Executives Can Avoid Breaking the Cybersecurity Chain, many senior executives ignore the threat from hackers and cybercriminals and often feel that security policies in their respective organisations do not apply to their unique position.

However, in reality, their often-privileged access to company information make their personal accounts extremely valuable to exploit and heightens the need for extra care. In addition to highlighting the common mistakes made by senior executives, the white paper lists the top security areas that should be prioritised to ensure cybersecurity resilience.

“In tackling and mitigating the security threat, a critical issue is a failure to securely back up email data,” said Phil Bindley, The Bunker’s managing director. “Many businesses assume that a cloud-hosted service, such as Office 365, comes with automatic back-up and security provisions. Unfortunately, it does not.

“Unless stated and agreed, vendors do not guarantee complete system security or data backup as standard, so organisations need to be careful and have a full understanding of the SLAs in place. We advise people to replace the word ‘cloud’ with ‘someone else’s computer’, to get a better perspective of the risks that need to be mitigated when deploying a cloud-based service”.

The white paper suggests that all employees, especially those at the top of the corporate ladder, need to realise that cybercriminals use social engineering, email phishing and malware to access personal accounts, and C-level staff especially need to avoid becoming the weakest link in the cybersecurity chain by adhering to regularly updated, company-wide security policies regarding data sharing and backup.

“Cloud offers a highly secure and cost-effective platform to defend against threats and malicious attacks. However, data stored in a public cloud typically resides outside the protection of an organisation’s internal systems and many vendors do not automatically back-up data or implement security and privacy controls as standard, making it a perfect entry-point for cybercriminals to exploit,” Bindley commented.

“Reviewing corporate policies, with a focus on people, premises, processes, systems and suppliers will provide valuable insights into which areas to improve, and by championing a ‘security first’ corporate culture, organisations and their senior executives will be well positioned to avoid the high financial costs, reputational damage and unexpected downtime that could result from a cyberattack or data breach,” he concluded.

Readers can download a free copy of the white paper, please click here

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