Which Employees Are Most Susceptible to Cyberattacks?

By September 6, 2017 Security

Cybersecurity used to be simple. There was a time when you could get by with little more than some common sense, a restricted user account, a firewall, and the latest antivirus software in place. Nowadays, that’s no longer the case. Cyberthreats have grown in both reach and sophistication to the extent that many of them now target specific individuals.

As cybercriminals up their game, so should you. By training staff to better identify potential threats, you’ll be in a better position to safeguard your business against a potentially devastating data breach.

High-ranking Executives

Perhaps one of the best ways to understand the threats facing your business is to put yourself in the shoes of a cybercriminal. That’s exactly what white-hat hackers do when they’re auditing your network for vulnerabilities to fix.

Unsurprisingly, many cybercriminals specifically target company executives, since they’re most likely to have direct access to high-level information. Executives present the perfect target for spear-phishing scammers, which are directed to specific individuals who have already been scoped out in advance.

Hackers use a variety of social engineering tactics to trick executives into giving away sensitive information, such as login or payment details. If cybercriminals are targeting an executive, they likely already know the person’s name and will use their online presence against them. If successful, the hackers may even be able to gain top-level access into your company’s network.

To prevent this from happening, executives should make two-factor authentication mandatory on all company accounts, and they should be very careful about what they share online.

Sales Teams

From a cybercriminal’s perspective, sales team personnel present something of a sweet spot. They’re unlikely to be as well protected as a company executive, yet they’re still likely to have access to high-value information, such as payment details.

Sales staff often have to deal with social engineering scams on a daily basis and, while many of them are blatantly obvious to anyone who is adequately trained, there are some scams that are much cleverer. Like executives, sales staff may also be targeted individually by spear-phishing attacks.

In fact, sales staff are most prone to advance-fee fraud scams, whereby criminals attempt to build trust and extort money out of unwitting victims.

Sometimes, all it takes is a single phone call or email to convince a member of your sales team to let down his or her guard, which could result in a major loss. To guard against these potentially devastating attacks, you should thoroughly train your sales staff to better identify suspicious communications and make sure they know how to send information online securely.

No One Is Immune

Company executives and sales staff may be popular targets for cybercriminals, but they’re certainly not the only ones. Criminals can and will target anyone in your business who has access to an internet-enabled device, whether he or she is working in the office or elsewhere, remotely.

Regardless of whether they’re frontdesk staff or high-level executives, criminals are always looking out for new opportunities. That’s why it’s essential to provide comprehensive cybersecurity training to everyone on your team to ensure they are aware of the risks and know how to mitigate them.

Even with a highly trained team with the latest cybersecurity protocols installed, there’s still a good chance that there are unidentified vulnerabilities in your system. Since everyone is a potential target and hackers are opportunistic criminals, you’ll need to have a reliable team of cybersecurity experts on your side to lock down your network. If you’re looking for a way to safeguard your company’s data, give Truewater a call today.



Truewater was established in 2001 with the vision of bringing enterprise class IT support to small and medium sized businesses.