CEO Fraud Scams: 6 Tips On How To Protect Your Company Against Them

by | August 20, 2021 | How to, Cybersecurity

CEO fraud scams are complex phishing attacks in which scammers trick employees into transferring money or providing confidential company data. This social engineering technique preys on the trust of the email recipient.

Cybercriminals will impersonate the company CEO or other executives and require employees, usually in the HR or accounting departments, to send out a wire transfer, updating account data, or providing account information.

CEO fraud scams trick employees into transferring money or disclose confidential company data.

Protecting your organization from CEO fraud scams might not be an easy task, but it surely isn’t impossible. With a solid security awareness training program and good communication within the company, you will engage, educate, and empower your employees against CEO fraud scams.

Keep reading to learn 6 tips that will help you strengthen your company’s defenses against fraudsters.

Tips On Protecting Your Company Against CEO Fraud Scams

Alongside security awareness training and good communication, you should pay attention to the time of the year. The holidays and preceding fiscal year-end months are prime time for CEO frauds. Scammers are well aware that people are busy traveling, trying to seal the best online deal they can find, or stressed about completing tax documents, a perfect landscape for those who seek to capitalize on human core behaviors.

To make sure your company stays safe from scammers, consider the following recommendations:

1. Educate your employees

Provide your staff with comprehensive hands-on security awareness training to educate them on the risks and consequences of CEO fraud. Make use of realistic phishing simulations, gamification, learning modules, and internal communications, like newsletters and posters on how CEO fraud works.

2. Raise awareness

The majority of your employees don’t even realize that they are exposed to cyberattacks at all times. Your security awareness training program should highlight awareness and changing human behavior. In addition, your employees should be made aware of the damages that CEO fraud scams and phishing attacks overall can leave behind.

3. Provide consistent communication

Ensure good and constant communication within your company, as well as campaigns about CEO fraud scams, phishing, social engineering, and cybersecurity.

You can use various forms of communication, such as newsletters and posters, to create and promote security-driven company culture.

4. Make your employees question emails from outside the network

Most popular email software allows for emails from senders outside the network to be tagged as external either in the title or in the mailbox itself. A visual reminder for your employees to question an email before answering or acting on a said CEO’s request is a great way to make sure your security awareness training pays off.

5. Monitor your employees’ security awareness level

As security awareness training is not a one-off undertaking, we believe that practice makes perfect, and testing should occur regularly, as cyber threats never cease to exist and evolve. Encourage your employees to regularly participate in phishing simulations and training to monitor their security awareness level. With constant supervision, you can determine how to tweak your security awareness approach to better resonate with your company’s needs.

6. Strenghten your security protocols

Even with the best training, mistakes can still happen. Therefore, establishing security measures regarding wire transfers and company purchases is a good idea. For instance, put in place a policy that those who created a wire transfer need someone else’s approval before actually sending it. You could also require a form to be filled and reviewed before any purchase is made.

Final Thoughts

CEO fraud is particularly challenging to prevent because it preys on core human behaviors fuelled by their emotions, which scammers exploit for their benefit. Moreover, the social engineering techniques used are more and more aggressive and sophisticated. The task asked in the malicious email is often a routine one on the long list of an office worker.

CEO fraud scams aren’t going away anytime soon. Attackers see immense potential in them because they’re pretty inexpensive and easy to execute with massive rewards. These attacks fail when the recipient double-checks in person with their superior. With the increase in remote work, CEO fraud attacks will definitely be on the rise.

ATTACK Simulator Is Here To Save The Day

When your employees are equipped with the proper knowledge to read the red flags of a phishing attack, they can take their time to calmly evaluate the situation and examine all the details the devil may be hiding in which otherwise would go unnoticed. To objectively assess your company’s exposure and vulnerability to CEO fraud and any other form of phishing, you can use our free security awareness training trial.

Our life-like phishing simulations will expose your employees to realistic hands-on fake phishing attacks.

Choose ATTACK Simulator’s Security Awareness Training program to provide your employees with the necessary security knowledge and keep your company safe from scammers.


Internet illustrations by Storyset

Internet illustrations by Storyset

Business illustrations by Storyset

Feature image: Photo by Stephen Phillips – on Unsplash

by Diana Panduru

Content writer for Attack Simulator. Passionate about all things writing and cybersecurity, and obsessed with driving. I sometimes indulge in pencil drawing, poetry, and cooking for fun.

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