Email Security Challenges that CEOs Face & How To Combat Them
- by Brittany Day
Cyber risk has reached an all-time high in recent years, largely due to the increase in remote workers and the widespread migration to vulnerable, inadequately secured cloud platforms brought on by the pandemic. Phishing attacks are the greatest cybersecurity risk businesses face now, as over 90% of all modern cyberattacks begin with a phishing email.
CEOs, mainly those of small- and medium-sized businesses, face significant email security challenges, including a lack of resources and expertise, the growing threat of Business Email Compromise (BEC), and whaling attacks impersonating CEOs to target individuals in the organization in expertly crafted scams designed to steal sensitive information and large sums of money.
To make matters worse, CEOs are often held personally accountable for successful attacks. Luckily, there are measures CEOs can take to strengthen their email security posture, bolster IT resources, reduce risk exposure, and protect their brand image from Business Email Compromise and other phishing types. This article will examine CEOs' critical email security issues and how to combat these challenges with effective, fully managed email security services.
Top Email Security Threats CEOs Face
Shortage of Cybersecurity Resources & Expertise
Many businesses, especially SMBs, lack the resources and expertise to protect against cyber attacks. CEOs of small companies often lack a full-time IT department or mail administrator. Still, when the positions are filled, IT professionals are often not trained email security experts and fall short in the knowledge required to ensure company email security.
CEOs often have a poor understanding of strategic cyber risk and don’t oversee critical additional security controls to be aware of the dimensions of the strategic email security risks. Another critical flaw is when a business does not clearly distinguish between IT and cyber staff. Many executives address cyber risks as if there’s an end-state solution with execution that is single-threaded, which focuses on the remediation of a specific vulnerability.
Frequently Impersonated in Business Email Compromise (BEC) Attacks
To make matters worse, dangerous email scams tend to impersonate CEOs because of their role within the company and their access to confidential information. CEO fraud, also known as Business Email Compromise (BEC) or whaling, is a popular threat cybercriminals use to target victims according to their position in the company and the valuable information they can reach. The threat works by taking on a CEO’s character to target individuals in the organization to gain access to sensitive information or money. Business Email Compromise is often successful because cybercriminals conduct extensive social engineering research on the company to make their emails seem authentic before sending anything to the target.
Increased Risk & Accountability for Cyberattacks
Company email security risks have only been heightened in recent years as more businesses are relying on cloud infrastructure, which presents different security challenges, such as the possibility of security misconfigurations either due to a lack of awareness, the haste to move to work through the cloud, negligent behavior, and remote workers being less attentive.
As consumers lower their tolerance for email security breaches, 40% hold CEOs responsible for cybersecurity lapses. Gartner predicts that by 2024, 75% of CEOs will be held accountable for cyberattacks that lead to injury and other physical damage.
How To Combat Modern Email Security Challenges as a CEO
More organizations are implementing managed email security services in response to the current malware ransomware attacks. Such resources improve security by maximizing productivity, simplifying deployment, and easing the load on your IT department by assisting with setup, monitoring the ongoing system, providing any maintenance required to keep your company safe, expert guidance, and acting as a remote extension of your IT department.
Businesses should also consider technology that provides complete cloud-based Business Email Compromise, whaling, and CEO fraud protection by:
- Incorporating Machine Learning (ML) algorithms: combine with a role-based, contextual analysis of email communications to identify threats that go undetected by Google and Microsoft.
- Scanning to quarantine emails and files in real time to protect against insider threats.
- Utilizing Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) techniques to adapt to new threats and behaviors rapidly.
- Completing account takeover (ATO) protection, which can provide behavioral analysis and the examination of hundreds of thousands of email attributes.
- Providing real-time cybersecurity business insights via an interactive Dashboard administrative portal allows complete visibility into your email security and the threats targeting your organization to reduce risk exposure, improve cybersecurity business planning, and better enforce company policies.
Final Thoughts on Combating Email Security Risks as a CEO
CEOs carry great responsibility, and face heightened cyber risk in recent years. Email security has emerged as a primary concern and a significant challenge among CEOs. By investing in a fully managed email security software that provides the adaptive technology required to stop business email compromise and whaling attacks and the expert ongoing monitoring, maintenance, support, and guidance needed to ensure critical business assets remain safe in this heightened digital threat environment, CEOs can rest easy knowing their users, their business, and their reputation is secure.
Keep learning about combating email security risks as a CEO by exploring the resources below:
- Implementing comprehensive email security software can help prevent advanced threats, such as targeted spear phishing and ransomware.
- Learn how to protect your business from ransomware.
- By following these best practices for email security, you can also improve your company’s email posture to protect against various types of phishing attacks, including Business Email Compromise (BEC).
- Keep the integrity of your email safe by securing the cloud with spam filtering and enterprise-grade anti-spam services.
- Get the latest updates on how to stay safe online.
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