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Extensive research by BlackCloak and Ponemon Institute reveals alarming findings on the growing threat of personal cyber attacks targeting key executives; and lack of organizational readiness and safeguards for this area.

BlackCloak in collaboration with Ponemon Institute has published the ‘Understanding the Serious Risk to Executives’ Personal Digital Lives Report’. The report looks at the growing threat of cyber attacks on the personal digital lives of executives and the lack of preparedness among organizations to prevent and mitigate potential damage from such attacks.

The study assesses the understanding and readiness of 553 US-based cyber security leaders in dealing with the vulnerabilities associated with executives' personal digital lives and the necessary steps to protect them.

Key findings from the study include:

  • 42 percent of companies have already experienced cybercriminal attacks on their executives or their executives' families, resulting in serious negative consequences for the organization.
  • 78 percent of organizations have encountered theft of corporate intellectual property, research and development data, or business strategy information as a result of these attacks.
  • 66 percent of companies have suffered the loss of customers or business partners due to cyber attacks on executives.
  • 27 percent of organizations have experienced theft of customer or employee data through attacks targeting executives' personal digital lives.

These statistics confirm the urgent need for organizations to prioritize cyber security measures aimed at protecting executives' personal digital lives.

The study reveals that only a small percentage of cyber security professionals feel confident in their executives' ability to protect themselves:

  • Only 9 percent of cyber security professionals are highly confident that their CEO or executives would know how to protect their personal computer from viruses.
  • Merely 22 percent of cyber security professionals express high confidence in their executives' ability to secure personal emails.

“The study underscores the critical gap in cyber security readiness and the urgent need for organizations to enhance their protection of executives' personal digital lives,” said Dr. Chris Pierson, CEO and Founder of BlackCloak, and Distinguished Fellow of the Ponemon Institute.

“Our findings indicate that CISOs are seeing real harm that equates at the same level of a corporate data breach incident associated with risks to corporate executives,” said Dr. Larry Ponemon, Chairman and Founder of the Ponemon Institute. “With the attack surface being significantly expanded to include the home and personal devices, key breaches in the past year that have resulted from key employees being targeted, and the reality that CISOs believe executives' personal cyber security is a risk, the time to mitigate this risk is now.”

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