Extensive research by BlackCloak and Ponemon Institute reveals alarming findings on the growing threat of executive personal cyber-attacks, lack of readiness, and safeguards in place


IT Security Not Confident in Fighting Cyber Attacks - Study Infographic


Lake Mary, FL – June 5, 2023 – BlackCloak, the pioneer in Digital Executive Protection for executives, board members, and senior leaders, today, in collaboration with Ponemon Institute, published the Understanding the Serious Risk to Executives’ Personal Digital Lives Report. The report reveals alarming findings about the growing threat of cyber attacks on the personal digital lives of executives and the lack of preparedness among organizations to prevent and mitigate potential damage. 

The comprehensive study assesses the understanding and readiness of 553 US-based cybersecurity leaders in dealing with the vulnerabilities associated with executives’ personal digital lives and the necessary steps to protect them. “The study underscores the critical gap in cybersecurity readiness and the urgent need for organizations to enhance their protection of executives’ personal digital lives,” said Dr. Chris Pierson, CEO and Founder of BlackCloak, and Distinguished Fellow of the Ponemon Institute. 

“Our findings indicate that CISOs are seeing real harm that equates at the same level of a corporate data breach incident associated with risks to corporate executives,” said Dr. Larry Ponemon, Chairman and Founder of the Ponemon Institute. “With the attack surface being significantly expanded to include the home and personal devices, key breaches in the past year that have resulted from key employees being targeted, and the reality that CISOs believe executives’ personal cybersecurity is a risk, the time to mitigate this risk is now.”

The research sheds light on the critical need for enhanced cybersecurity measures to safeguard executives, as the attacks are primarily designed to hack into corporate systems. Key findings from the study include:

  1. 42% of companies have already experienced cybercriminal attacks on their executives or their executives’ families, resulting in serious negative consequences for the organization.
  2. 78% of organizations have encountered theft of corporate intellectual property, research and development data, or business strategy information as a result of these attacks.
  3. 66% of companies have suffered the loss of customers or business partners due to cyber attacks on executives.
  4. 27% of organizations have experienced theft of customer or employee data through attacks targeting executives’ personal digital lives.

These statistics confirm the urgent need for organizations to prioritize cybersecurity measures aimed at protecting executives’ personal digital lives. “Cybercriminal threats targeting executives’ personal lives are diverse and include email compromise, ransomware, malware infection, doxxing, extortion, online impersonation, swatting, and even physical attacks,” said Pierson.

Despite these alarming figures, the study reveals that only a small percentage of cybersecurity professionals feel confident in their executives’ ability to protect themselves:

  1. Only 9% of cybersecurity professionals are highly confident that their CEO or executives would know how to protect their personal computer from viruses.
  2. Merely 22% of cybersecurity professionals express high confidence in their executives’ ability to secure personal emails.

BlackCloak, a leading provider of comprehensive cybersecurity solutions, stands at the forefront of protecting corporate executives and high-profile individuals from cybersecurity, privacy, financial, and reputational risks. To learn more about BlackCloak and their industry-leading cybersecurity solutions, please visit www.blackcloak.io. Stay up-to-date with their latest news and insights by following them on LinkedIn and Twitter.


About BlackCloak

BlackCloak protects corporate executives, high-access employees, and high-net-worth individuals and families from targeted cyberattacks, online fraud, and other risks to them and their companies through their personal digital lives. Used by Fortune 1000s and mid-market organizations across all industries, BlackCloak’s SaaS-based digital executive protection solution protects the digital privacy, personal devices, and home networks of people with little time and a lot to lose. Executives and high-profile individuals get peace of mind knowing that their family, wealth, reputation, and finances are secured. Corporate security teams rest easy knowing that their organization is protected from threats to IP, finances, physical security, data and other digital assets that originate in their executives’ personal digital lives.


About Ponemon Institute 

Ponemon Institute is dedicated to independent research and education that advances responsible information and privacy management practices within business and government. Our mission is to conduct high-quality, empirical studies on critical issues affecting the management and security of sensitive information about people and organizations. We uphold strict data confidentiality, privacy, and ethical research standards. We do not collect any personally identifiable information from individuals (or company identifiable information in our business research). Furthermore, we have strict quality standards to ensure that subjects are not asked extraneous, irrelevant, or improper questions. Learn more at ponemon.org


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Mike Sias

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