Amid layoffs and recession fears, digital protection for executives is more critical than ever

The US economy is in uncharted territory. Unemployment remains at historic lows, the labor market is strong, but wages are stagnating and inflation is at record highs.

Companies do not know how to react. Some are progressing, while others are in uncertainty or, for fear of a recession, are retreating. And, sadly, others are using economic uncertainty to lay off employees when needed or not.

In June 2022, job cuts increased, up 57% from May and 59% year-over-year. Companies that cut jobs included Netflix, Oracle, Microsoft, Re/Max and JPMorgan.

Whatever the case and however these layoffs are handled – justified or not – a company’s reputation is at risk whenever layoffs occur. Angry employees will take to social media, sites like Glassdoor, and any public forum possible to vent their frustration. Can you blame them?

Unfortunately, in these difficult times, some individuals will go too far and threaten both the digital and physical security of a company, its leaders and its data.

Protect your leaders, protect your business

As we await the real fallout from this post-COVID economy, enterprise security teams should seriously consider investing in digital executive protection to protect their employees and digital assets from negative feedback from former employees.

In particular, digital executive protection can help companies and their executives avoid the following digital threats:

1. Doxing

Doxing is the act of revealing someone’s address, email address or phone number and can lead to harassment, abuse and even physical injury. Sharing someone’s social security number can also expose executives to hacking and identity theft.

Doxing can be perpetrated by disgruntled former employees. They can glean information through several methods, including web and social media searches, data broker sites, and by getting information from the dark web.

BlackCloak protects executives in part by removing their personal information from internet data brokers, tightening privacy settings on all devices and apps, and scanning the dark web for leaked personal information.

2. Social Media Hacking

Disgruntled employees can also impersonate or impersonate an executive’s social media accounts and cause trouble. Typical tactics to gain access include phishing and exploiting weak passwords, stolen credentials (seven out of ten of which are available for free on the dark web), and compromising apps that lack multi-factor authentication (MFA). From there, a bad actor can impersonate the executive, badmouth the company, and drag their reputation down the drain.

Black Coat protects the executive’s social media accounts by tightening privacy settings and removing dark web credentials that could be exploited. We help our client set up MFA so that if an executive’s credentials are obtained, attackers cannot access their personal accounts and do anything that could impact the executive or the business.

3. Physical harassment

Physical threats against leaders are on the rise. It is not uncommon for corporate executives to be confronted, assaulted and even fatally injured by former employees. Last year, 24% of executives and their families have received threats or been injured at home or while travelling.

In the age of digital nativism, a leader’s digital footprint can create physical risk. When business owners conduct their business on home or public Wi-Fi networks, they become a lucrative target for threat actors seeking to access sensitive information about them and their family members, where they live. and what their travel plans are.

Companies spend millions of dollars to protect executives – both physically and in the corporate digital landscape – but they won’t be truly safe unless their personal digital lives are also protected. This is what the BlackCloak platform does. It puts a protective cloak over a leader’s personal digital footprint – at home, on all devices and on the go. And, if a threat event occurs, our cybersecurity experts are never more than a call or a click away – 24x7x365.

4. Intentional Leakage of Confidential Information

Disgruntled former employees may also target executives to target the company and leak confidential information that is not intended for public consumption.

How? Too often, executives use the same passwords for their personal lives as they do in the corporate world. Otherwise, seven in ten write their passwords on sticky notes or store them in their contact list on the phone. Malicious actors can use these credentials to access other services, such as an executive’s email or other applications, and leak confidential information or gain access to corporate networks and systems. which further amplifies the risk. Additionally, embarrassing information about that executive could leak out, casting a bad light on the company.

When integrating our own customers, we found that 75% of personal devices used by executives leak data due to inappropriate privacy settings, 87% of personal cell phones and tablets lack security software, and 39% of personal devices are already infected with malware .

BlackCloak protects against this scenario by ensuring that an executive’s home network and all devices connected to it are secure – including laptops, tablets, IoT and security cameras – and that information company secrets don’t fall into the wrong hands.

Protect your leaders and respect your employees

By protecting an executive’s privacy, devices, and networks, we proactively reduce their risk of cybercrime, cyberstalking, and cyberbullying; as well as online and in-person harassment, extortion, impersonation, and threats to physical security.

Digital executive protection cannot prevent all negative incidents resulting from an executive’s affiliation with an employer, but it can significantly reduce the risks to their personal digital footprint and limit potential harm.

And while we can help, the best thing you can do is treat your employees with respect and empathy, especially if you have to fire them for whatever reason. This is ultimately what could reduce your risk the most.

The post Amid layoffs and recession fears, digital protection for executives is more critical than ever appeared first on BlackCloak | Protect your digital life™.

*** This is a syndicated blog from BlackCloak’s Security Bloggers Network | Protect Your Digital Life™ written by Evan. Read the original post at:

About Sandra A. Powell

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