While ensuring the security of a business, it is also imperative that security consultants engage in risk assessments for its employees. In particular, its board members and/or high-level executives.
Most high-level executives, such as board members, may not consider themselves to be the target of any security threat. However, there are occasions where a board (or one of its members) may have its security compromised by an unpopular or controversial decision. In these cases, precautions should be taken to ensure that business decisions do not lead to unsafe consequences.
Securing your board members does not necessarily mean imposing a high-level of executive protection. Most high-level executives do not have bodyguards, for example. Simple checks, like doing a Google search on the board member in question, may provide insight as to how he or she is viewed by the public.
Board members also need to be kept safe outside the workplace without resorting to intrusive or overwhelming security procedures. Separating the use of technology for work and personal use, for instance, is not just an easy way of ensuring that protected information stays safe, but also assists employees to separate their work and home life.
Keeping your board members safe can be as simple or as complex as required, depending on the situation. It is important consider the following when doing risk assessments:
- Ego checks – it is important for board members to understand the consequences of their business decisions, especially when the decision is not popular. Quick online searches for that board members’ name can provide some valuable insight. Security consultants can go further; providing in-depth social media and Internet analysis to ascertain if any employees may be at risk. Social media health checks should occur every now and then, cleaning out any risky or revealing information that may put that board member, or their family at risk.
- ‘Empty’ technology – high-level executives and board members often take their work home. This can be a risk if the devices they take home with them are not fully secured. By securing confidential data in the cloud sensitive information will not be stored in phones or laptops. When travelling, board members can use ‘empty’ laptops and phones that do not contain any important or secure data while away from the office.
- Work-life separation –high-level executives work hard, even at home. Sometimes, the security precautions we take at work may not be the same ones we take at home. Even home or personal devices can be attacked. Providing board members with digital security training will help them recognise simple risks like phishing on the Internet on their home computers. Even family members may also be exposed to these risks, so it is important that even family home devices are secured properly.
High-level executives, such as board members are charged with the responsibility to make very important business decisions. Not everyone will be happy with those decisions and some groups or individuals may even be willing to express that discontent openly in a range of destructive ways.
Board members and the officials protecting them should always be conscious of the possible consequences of their business decisions. The easiest way to do so is making in-depth Internet checks. By gathering this kind of intelligence, security consultants can assess the risks posed by any disaffected parties or even disgruntled employees (or former ones). Furthermore, security consultants should also manage the use intelligence and ensure that these work risks aren’t taken home. This may mean expanding a board member’s protection to their family and home, which can be done unobtrusively and pragmatically.
If you require assistance in intelligence gathering as well as risk and threat management for board members and executives within your organisation please do not hestiate to contact Agilient.
The Agilient Team