Why Should We Extend Executive Security to the Digital Realm?

The Internet and social media have degraded into a virtual minefield for corporate executives in recent years. The 2020 epidemic and geopolitical upheaval intensified the tendency, resulting in more rudeness and attacks than before.

Against this shifting backdrop, the area of executive security has been aggressively growing and reinventing itself. Currently, executive protection extends well beyond the physical safety of locations and persons to preserve online identities and reputations in the digital domain.

Traditionally bodyguards, guns, and guards were deemed critical components of executive security.

These VIP securities are essential components of every executive protection program. After all, executives are high-risk individuals, just like celebrities and politicians. Their affluence, employment status, travel habits, and other factors put them and their families in danger. The cost of all of this security is also rising. There is no doubt that digital privacy comes at a price. Companies pay millions of dollars to protect their senior executives from cyber threats.

Why do we need to secure executives?

CEOs are frighteningly exposed – thus necessitating executive security. Executives possess some of the most critical organizational data and information within a firm. They have first-class access to their IT systems.

As a result, they are a tempting target for cybercriminals. According to the most recent Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR), C-suite executives were 12 times more susceptible to cyberattacks. At the same time, 71% of intrusions were financially motivated.

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CEOs and corporations must take a statement on critical social issues, yet the instant they do, they become a target. There will be someone who opposes. There will almost certainly be someone who takes that dispute too far. In this politically tense and politicized environment, criminals are progressively attempting to destroy the use of easily obtained online personal information. They use social engineering techniques such as phishing, deceiving, doxing, mimicking, and threatening executives’ security.

Statistics

A malicious person can access the company network with an executive’s passwords in control. On top of it, they probe around for sensitive material or persuade other workers – via phone or email – that they are the executive and utilize that trust to their advantage.

However, an executive’s digital imprint might equally pose a physical risk.

Home addresses are among the information bad actors trade on the dark web, exposing executives to kidnapping and ransom, or worse. The world is more connected than ever before.

  • Data privacy is being breached, stolen, and leaked on a disturbingly regular basis in exchange for frictionless ease.
  • People do not consciously place a monetary value on their internet privacy. The majority are unaware of how much data they actively share.
  • To address cyber security and improve data protection, we need a more coordinated strategy from the public and commercial sectors.
  • Malware infects one out of every four devices.
  • Security software is missing on 4 out of 5 mobile phones, laptops, and so forth.

It is time to enhance your executive’s security.

The confluence of an expanding online presence and shifting dangers emphasizes the need for firms to rethink their approach to executive security. Surrounding a VIP with physical barriers and preventative measures also requires that their digital identity is safe and protected.

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It is critical to have a privacy mindset.

Digital distance is one method of mitigating exposure. This involves the usage of virtual private networks with no-log rules. Additionally, executives could consider the Tor or Brave browser or an app that allows encrypted communication to mask user location and use intrusive network surveillance. Encrypted emails are also required, particularly from providers and platforms that cannot read or trace user content. Controlling app permissions, using ad blockers, and bypassing social media improve online privacy and limit one’s digital footprint.

What are some best practices to strengthen executive security?

A personalized approach to executive security enables teams to maximize resources and identify dangers without relying on physical executive protection 24/7. Here are some counteractive measures that can be helpful:

  1. Installing EFANI Black Seal Protection is the solution to mitigate such risks, such as sim swapping, IP spoofing, etc.
  2. Privacy augmentation and regulated attribution technologies can reinforce and strengthen data security.
  3. In this day and age of continuous and ubiquitous online surveillance and digital misbehavior, executives must establish data security at both the company and personal levels.
  4. A primary value proposition is to minimize exposure while maximizing privacy.
  5. Avoid disclosing personal details.
  6. To lock your phone, use a pin, password, or pattern.
  7. Download apps from reputable app stores.
  8. Create a backup of your data.
  9. Keep your operating system and applications up to date.
  10. Clear cache.

Additional Practices

  1. Monitoring of Social Media – The main social media sites have staff who can detect and promptly eliminate threatening behavior and violent statements. As a result of their popularity, much of the harmful content is migrating to less-regulated non-traditional forums or social media platforms. Deep web forums and dark web sites are examples of these sites, where actors are very organized and systematic about who’s information to target and disseminate on the Internet. Particular interest forums are dedicated to technology, finance, or even unhappy ex-employees that constitute a considerable risk.
  2. Use physical keys such as Yubikeys or MFA. Abandon SMS-backed 2FA.
  3. Privacy Tools for Navigation – Criminals can’t steal what they can’t see. Specific programs safeguard your identity by establishing a proxy, changing your IP address, and allowing you to surf anonymously. It is accessible as a Google Chrome and Firefox add-on. Tor or Brave isolates you and prevents unnecessary adverts, so third-party trackers can’t monitor you. It also erases your browsing history, deletes cookies, and offers multi-layer encryption.
  4. Additionally, the Signal app can provide protection. It is a non-profit organization that allows users to send text, GIFs, audio chats, images, videos, and data items. Please note that we do not endorse any of these products. A DYOR is mandatory when making informed decisions.
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None of these aspects is a solution guaranteed for 100% protection. However, they can smoothly connect the physical and digital worlds when combined. Combining these components enables a digital detective to maintain executive security monitoring, manage intelligence for both a malicious attacker and a victim, and assure sufficient protection.

 

 

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