An email from your CEO will always stand out above all general emails. As the most important member of the company, employees feel they should be extra diligent and take care of what is being asked of them. Why should they ever doubt their CEO?

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This clever kind of data breach harnesses the power of a CEO position, and uses it to access the funds of both companies and individuals. This type of data breach is called a Business Email Compromise (BEC) scam, and it means that more and more CEO email accounts are being used and compromised.

How does a BEC scam happen?

This kind of scam happens when a CEO’s email account is compromised via a keylogger or social engineering, and is then used to convince employees with access to company finances to make wire transfers into criminals’ bank accounts.

A lot of research is involved

Hackers must do a great deal of research to pull off this type of scam. They need to research the company thoroughly to identify who to target with the email, to discover who has access to the company’s funds.

Who is most at risk?

CEOs were targeted only about 2 percent of the time, but CFOs made up 17 percent of the targets due to their position within the company. However, some of the most frequent victims are frequently in IT, sales, marketing, and operations because they are most nervous about questioning their CEO.

How can we avoid this type of attack?

Educating staff is by far the best way to prevent falling victim to this kind of attack.

We recommend making it clear that any transfer involving funds should be double checked and signed off before agreeing to anything over email alone.

If you’re worried about your cyber security, contact our team today on 01522 883636 and we’ll be happy to advise you.