Corporate executives are increasingly targeted by cybercriminals because of their access to data and ability to engage in social engineering, according to the 2019 Verizon Data Breach Report published last week.
The report was based on the analysis of 41,686 security incidents in 2018. It noted 2,013 of those reports were confirmed data breaches. The analysis shows executives were compromised in 20% of data breach incidents studied in 2018.
It seems 71% of data breaches were financially motivated, according to the report, and the median amount stolen in a business email compromise scam was $24,439. Edward McAndrew, a partner at DLA Piper in Washington, D.C., said criminals are finding it more lucrative to scam executives and get money through business email compromise scams.
“There has also been a shift from stealing information in order to sell it and weaponizing accounts and systems to commit financial fraud,” McAndrew said.