Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Attacks/Breaches

1/23/2019
10:45 AM
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Cybercriminals Home in on Ultra-High Net Worth Individuals

Research shows that better corporate security has resulted in some hackers shifting their sights to the estates and businesses of wealthy families.

Threat intelligence experts and research groups have seen a shift of cybercriminals increasingly targeting ultra-high net worth (UHNW) individuals and their family businesses.

Lewis Henderson, vice president of threat intelligence at UK-based Glasswall Solutions, says some attackers find it increasingly challenging to get into large corporations, and are putting more of their efforts into attacking the super-rich and their estates and businesses.

"We've found that they are using similar tactics and techniques, such as using email and attachments and ransomware," Henderson says. 

The conclusions drawn by Glasswall mirrors research conducted by UK-based Campden Wealth, which found that 28% of the UHNW families reported having been the victim of one or more cyberattacks. While UHNW families have an estimated net worth of at least $30 million, Campden Wealth recommends that those setting up single-family offices have wealth of $150 million or more. Many of the families that open single-family offices have far in excess of $150 million, with their average net worth standing at $1.2 billion, according to the Campden Wealth/UBS Global Family Office Report.

Dr. Rebecca Gooch, Campden Wealth's director of research, says phishing was the most common type of attack, followed by ransomware, malware infections, and social engineering. She says UHNW individuals are targeted in a variety of ways including via their operating businesses, family offices, or through the family members themselves.

More than half the attacks were viewed as malicious. And, nearly one-third came from an inside threat, such as an employee intentionally leaking confidential information. Around one-in-ten were deemed accidental.

"The results of these attacks were notable," adds Gooch. "More than a quarter of family offices and family businesses we surveyed lost revenue, one-fifth had their private or confidential information lost or exposed, and 15% suffered either a blackmail or ransom situation, or had a loss or delay in their company's activity." 

Defense 

Glasswall Solutions' Henderson says there are at least four steps ultra-high net worth individuals can do to protect themselves from cyberattacks:

·      Hire a cybersecurity specialist. Henderson says whether it's as a consultant or a permanent position with the company, a cybersecurity expert  can fully brief them on security trends.

  • Define policies and procedures. The consultant's first job should be writing specific policies and procedures for classifying sensitive data. Typically, security experts have various templates they can follow, most notably from the national law enforcement agencies that publish guidance.
  • Have the security specialist explain the varied technology. Once a person gets hired and has established security policies, UHNW individuals need the security expert to explain how no single technology will protect them. Henderson says they are typically more than willing to pay for the protection, but the security expert must explain the elements of defense-in-depth - from antivirus and antimalware software to firewalls, intrusion prevention, and data loss prevention tools.
  • Make provisions for the right kind of cyber insurance. UHNW individuals are more than willing to pay for cyber insurance, but it's up to the security expert to explain the need. It's very important that they obtain a policy with fraud protection in the event of a social attack, because not all cyber insurance policies explicitly cover social attacks.

Campden Wealth's Gooch adds that wealthy families should not consider cybersecurity planning merely an IT problem: the company's board or top person also should be involved. Proper cybersecurity awareness training, such as teaching people how to notice suspicious emails, can also prevent breaches.  

Families also need to stay up-to-date on what information has been made public about them and their companies, Gooch says. The more an attacker can learn about a family or a business, the more he or she can organize an attack. Finally, Gooch says adequate incident response plans can control the extent of the damage. Families need to define roles and know who to call in the event of an attack. 

Related Content:

Steve Zurier has more than 30 years of journalism and publishing experience and has covered networking, security, and IT as a writer and editor since 1992. Steve is based in Columbia, Md. View Full Bio
 

Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
REISEN1955
50%
50%
REISEN1955,
User Rank: Ninja
1/25/2019 | 2:47:51 PM
As Ron Kuby once said ages ago
If you are going to sue somebody, make sure they have money.  Same for attackers.   And if you are good at something, never do it for free.  (Joker).  Normal rules apply. 

 

Phishing emails: if you don't need it, don't read it, delete it. 
Commentary
Ransomware Is Not the Problem
Adam Shostack, Consultant, Entrepreneur, Technologist, Game Designer,  6/9/2021
Edge-DRsplash-11-edge-ask-the-experts
How Can I Test the Security of My Home-Office Employees' Routers?
John Bock, Senior Research Scientist,  6/7/2021
News
New Ransomware Group Claiming Connection to REvil Gang Surfaces
Jai Vijayan, Contributing Writer,  6/10/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win an Amazon Gift Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: Zero Trust doesn't have to break your budget!
Current Issue
The State of Cybersecurity Incident Response
In this report learn how enterprises are building their incident response teams and processes, how they research potential compromises, how they respond to new breaches, and what tools and processes they use to remediate problems and improve their cyber defenses for the future.
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-36388
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-17
In CiviCRM before 5.21.3 and 5.22.x through 5.24.x before 5.24.3, users may be able to upload and execute a crafted PHAR archive.
CVE-2020-36389
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-17
In CiviCRM before 5.28.1 and CiviCRM ESR before 5.27.5 ESR, the CKEditor configuration form allows CSRF.
CVE-2021-32575
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-17
HashiCorp Nomad and Nomad Enterprise up to version 1.0.4 bridge networking mode allows ARP spoofing from other bridged tasks on the same node. Fixed in 0.12.12, 1.0.5, and 1.1.0 RC1.
CVE-2021-33557
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-17
An XSS issue was discovered in manage_custom_field_edit_page.php in MantisBT before 2.25.2. Unescaped output of the return parameter allows an attacker to inject code into a hidden input field.
CVE-2021-23396
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-17
All versions of package lutils are vulnerable to Prototype Pollution via the main (merge) function.