In today’s cyber environment, no one is safe, especially executives. CEO Fraud Attacks are becoming more widespread, with attackers routinely sending phishing emails to a company’s employees, impersonating the CEO in order to trick them into transferring money or revealing important company information.

Since 2016, these types of Business Email Compromise (BEC) attacks have become a significant issue for companies, costing them over $43 billion globally.

CEO Fraud Attacks. Phishing attacks worldwide hit an all-time monthly high in December 2021 at 316,747. And this number will only continue to rise.

This blog article looks at some of the most prevalent CEO fraud attacks used by cyber criminals to mimic CEOs, CFOs, and other C-level executives, as well as what security leaders can do to defend against them.

The most common types of CEO Fraud Attacks

While an attacker’s approaches may vary, there are certain typical instances of CEO fraud attempts that everyone should be able to recognize and report:

1. CEO Phishing Scam

An attacker sends large numbers of emails to CEOs of various organizations in an attempt to fool them into clicking a link to a malicious website or file. This is done in order for them to get access to the victim’s account and contact list, allowing them to send emails that deceive other downstream workers into sending money or sensitive information.

2. Phishing for Personal Information

Before a hacker writes a carefully crafted email, impersonating a company or people they do business with, or references events or projects they’ve attended or participated in, a hacker gathers information online about their targets. The cybercriminals then try to trick the recipient into providing the necessary information to commit further crimes.

3. Social Espionage

In a social engineering attempt, fraudsters will utilize a customized email, text message, or phone call to earn the victim’s confidence and persuade them to hand over sensitive information or send a wire transfer.

4. Executive Whaling

Whaling is a sort of cyber threat in which a criminal impersonates an executive and seeks to pressure employees to hand over information, submit tax papers, or transfer payments without first validating the request with another colleague.

How to Avoid CEO Fraud Attacks

In all of these CEO fraud cases, the attackers seek to take advantage of a widespread lack of knowledge. As a result, firms may take several basic actions to prevent employees from falling prey to CEO fraud:

1. Do phishing attack simulations

Use phishing simulation tools to teach staff how to spot phishing, social engineering, and CEO fraud. They are likely to be duped into disclosing personal or private information this way. You will also get a sense of who is more at risk.

2. Utilize security awareness training

To keep CEO fraud attack concerns in the forefront of workers’ minds, use a combination of security awareness training and phishing simulation platforms. In addition, create internal cyber security ambassadors who are dedicated to keeping your firm safe from cyber threats.

3. Keep track of personnel security and fraud awareness.

Phishing simulations are regularly used to assess employee security awareness, and CEO scam learning modules are used to educate, train and change critical behaviours.

4. Continuing security campaigns

Provide regular communication campaigns to workers about security best practices, CEO fraud, and other social engineering concerns, such as creating strong password regulations and educating staff about the dangers of clicking on strange URLs and files.

5. Establish network access restrictions to limit the use of personal devices.

Create network access rules to limit the usage of personal devices in your environment and govern how employees exchange information outside of the corporate network.

6. Modernize your infrastructure

Maintain the security and upkeep of all apps, operating systems, network tools, and internal software. In addition, endpoints must have malware protection and anti-spam software installed.

Phishing simulations should be your go-to tool

While there is no one-size-fits-all solution to preventing phishing attacks, phishing simulations are one of the most critical components of your security awareness training, as they demonstrate the risks of blindly trusting others online.

They also demonstrate some of the real-world strategies cybercriminals use to trick victims into turning over information and allow you to assess whether your employees are capable of detecting these threats.

A simulated phishing email shows how quickly you may be misled in the middle of a busy work day, underlining the need to stay up to date with the latest cybersecurity best practices and not click on any links or attachments from unknown senders.

At Rhyno, we deliver personalized awareness training and attack simulation programs based on your unique cyber security needs.

For security executives, phishing simulation is a valuable tool to assess employee security awareness to determine whether they are in danger of giving information to attackers and provide underperforming staff with further assistance and training opportunities.

Cyber Security Awareness Recap

With more cases of CEO fraud appearing on a daily basis, understanding phishing threats is more critical than ever for preventing data breaches and putting a stop to the manipulative ways that cybercriminals use to get access to protected information.

In the future, developing a security awareness training program that includes phishing simulations will be critical to guarantee that staff do not engage in high-risk conduct.

This includes opening a malicious file or providing their login credentials to fraudsters at work or home.


Rhyno delivers a range of activities that combine to fully protect your infrastructure and data from cybercriminals, anywhere and everywhere, 24/7/365.


About Rhyno Cybersecurity Services

Rhyno Cybersecurity is a Canadian-based company focusing on 24/7 Managed Detection and Response, Penetration Testing, Enterprise Cloud, and Cybersecurity Solutions for small and midsize businesses.

Our products and services are robust, innovative, and cost-effective. Underpinned by our 24x7x365 Security Operations Centre (SOC), our experts ensure you have access to cybersecurity expertise when you need it the most.

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