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August 5, 2023

Cybersecurity for Jet-Setting Executives


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I was recently talking with a friend who is a senior executive at a bank dealing in the energy and mining sector. He was telling me about his trip to an area of the world that presents an elevated cyber risk. I asked if his bank provided him a temporary phone for the trip. He said no. I asked if he at least received a security briefing about some simple do’s and don’ts to help him prepare. He said no. A few weeks before I had a similar conversation with another friend in my neighbourhood who works in finance about his business trip. I asked him about cyber and physical security risks; I was met with a blank stare and a shake of his head.

The world is a Competitive Place – And we’re losing.

I continue to find it surprising that major financial institution are not providing even the most basic assistance like security briefs to their executives who are clearly targets for the sensitive corporate information and access they provide.

I’ve heard corporate security teams complain that their executives don’t care.  Well, if they don’t, then I believe it’s because they don’t fully understand the risks to themselves or their companies.

And from executives I’ve heard they don’t know what they’re supposed to do or who in the security team they’re supposed to talk to. Find someone. You and the companies you lead (and often have large financial interests in) are the target. You should be demanding better protection.

I think we have gotten dulled to people saying ‘the world is a dangerous place’ and we just decided to live with it. Well, it is, and they’re not wrong so I thought perhaps we can reframe this question to get people to care.

I think it’s helpful to say – “The world is a competitive place”. There are countries and companies that are trying to eat our lunch. Stealing secrets by getting access to our information is a shortcut they are more than willing to take. There are countless examples – Nortel getting hacked is the biggest. And Ransomware. Our companies are losing millions to professional organized criminals who are getting rich by simply exploiting our complacency. DON’T LET THEM. We need to protect ourselves, defend our organizations and information.

Combating Complacency

Many of you have made it to where you are in senior leadership roles of large corporations by being competitive and tough. But with cyber security we seem strangely complacent to allow our competitors to take advantage of us. We need to stop. Let’s get situationally aware. Get cyber secure. Especially when we travel. As I’ve said many times – The Home Team has the advantage. Let’s empower our organizations to get engaged in this conversation at all levels.

Get in touch if you would like to discuss security awareness briefs and travel security for executives.

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