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Executives seek exceptions to cyber rules

November 6th – In the last year, nearly half of C-level executives have requested to bypass one or more cyber security measures. This points to a growing disparity between what executives say and the actions that they take.

C-level security skips

To conduct the aforementioned research, more than 6,500 executive leaders, cyber security professionals and office workers were polled.

While 96% of leaders stated that they were at least moderately supportive of and invested in their organization’s cyber security, many sought work-arounds and executive exceptions to rules.

This could have a substantial impact on organizational risk.

Report specifics

  • 20% of executives have shared a work password with someone outside of the company.
  • More than three quarters of executives use easy-to-remember passwords, including dates of birth or pet names.
  • The C-suite is 3X as likely to share work devices with unauthorized users – like friends, family and external freelancers – than rank-and-file workers.
  • A third of executives said that they had accessed unauthorized work files and data, while nearly two-thirds say that they could have edited the information upon obtaining access.

Further, executives are 2X as likely as regular employees to say that their most recent interactions with IT security were “awkward” or “embarrassing”. In turn, executives are more likely than others to resort to external, unapproved tech support.

Underestimating the threat

According to experts, executives may be underestimating the extent to which threat actors perceive them as targets.

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