Cybercrime, particularly against high net worth individuals, appears to be on the rise.
David Stender, senior vice president and enterprise security officer at M&T Bank, outlined three cybersecurity situations that high net worth individuals need to watch out for.
Stender has a rich history in cybersecurity. Prior to joining M&T Bank, Stender was the associate chief information officer for cybersecurity and the chief information security officer for the Internal Revenue Service. He also spent 26 years on active duty in the U.S. Navy as a cryptologic officer.
Executive impersonation is up more than 100% in the past 6 months, according to Stender.
Stender explained “executive impersonation” by describing a potential scenario.
“You like art. You want to buy a piece that happens to be coming up for sale in Japan and you live in New York City,” he said during a Wilmington Trust press briefing in New York on Tuesday. “You call Christie’s, as an example, or some other art dealer or your relationship manager at a wealth institution like Wilmington Trust, and you ask, ‘I need you to transfer a million dollars to this bank so that I can put a down payment or I can buy this piece.’”
While this seems like a fairly common thing that happens, Stender pointed out how easily it could also be fraud.
“How often do you think that happens that that’s actually a fraudster who’s now impersonated that high net worth individual?” Stender asked. “And [the fraudster] has duped the relationship manager or has duped the auction house into believing that’s actually really a wire request and they fraudulently move that money.”
That’s executive impersonation.
According to Stender, hackers take advantage of the fact that the standard business process for a wealthy individual is to simply send an email to a relationship manager at some financial institution.