4 reasons execs need more security training

The biggest targets of hackers looking to steal data from your company might be the folks you’re paying the least amount of attention to.

IT tends to focus its security training on users, meaning staff-level employees, leaving top-level executives out of the picture. There are several reasons — for example, they’re busy people who may not feel they have time for security training.

But here’s why it could pay to include execs in your security plan, as laid out by security consultant Jayson Street in a recent Info World article:

  1. They have access to the most sensitive data, which means hackers put a lot of effort into targeting them specifically.
  2. They use the latest technology. Execs are often the ones in the company that get their pick of computing devices. After all, they’re the ones with the clout and the need to stay connected 24/7. But using newer, non-standard devices also means they’re the most susceptible to hackers.
  3. They expect to be protected. Execs know they’re important, so they often assume their equipment is kept more secure than other people’s.
  4. They expect to be exempt from the rules — not all of them, but some. Security controls are often an inconvenience, and some execs feel they’re in place for the folks who work under them, but not for themselves.

Of course, getting execs on board with security training can be tricky. One piece of advice: Explain in hard financial terms how security issues can affect the company’s bottom line.

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