Hackers hunt ‘whales’ in and around the boardroom. They ruin reputations. They attack and steal an organization’s most precious and sensitive information. Are you the whale they’re looking for? Could you stop them?
Board-level executives are known as ‘whales’ amongst hackers. They’re the big ﬁsh who hold the keys to the really big corporate prizes: money, strategic plans, mission critical projects, and intellectual property.
Jim Baines, CEO of a highly-reputable packaging company, didn’t know he was a whale until someone hacked his email and got into the heart of his company. Whaling for Beginners follows Jim’s journey as he realizes just how close to home cyber-attacks can strike and how broad the hackers’ ambitions can be.
As his company’s very survival hangs in the balance, it emerges that the ultimate target of the whaling attack is the Chief Finance Ofﬁcer of his biggest client – and one of his oldest friends. Out of nowhere, hard-won reputations, hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars are all suddenly at risk.
“I would recommend ‘Whaling for Beginners’ as essential reading for all board directors. As a Senior Independent NED and Deputy Chairman I know how important it is for business leaders to understand that they’re not immune and that they understand how to respond effectively in a crisis. I have sent copies of the book to all my fellow directors on five different boards."
Ian Davies, Deputy Chairman of BMT Group and Senior Independent Director at the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) and Harvey Nash.
“Knowing my background in cyber security and IT risk, I was recently given ‘Whaling for Beginners’ by a close friend... In a world of cyber techno jargon often presented without relevant context to board members and senior management, the story line is not only plausible but actually fun to follow, helping the reader realize in a very relatable way that none of us are immune to being directly targeted by a cyber-attack... If you’re a board director or executive decision maker, I would encourage you to have a look."
Jan Babiak is a non-executive director with a 30-year career in cybersecurity and IT risk management. She is a frequent panellist and speaker on board governance.
“I hate to think how many worthy presentations I've sat through on cyber risk management, so my first reaction on reading these books was "at last!". Instead of a technical tract heavy on acronyms and terms of art, here's a very realistic human story, showing how cyber-attacks usually work because of human frailty and how their effects can destroy reputations and trust painstakingly built up over many years.
"This is an essential lesson for Boards, so often bedazzled by the apparently impenetrable specialist technical nature of cyber. Directors need to understand that while they will need some specialist advice (just as they do over legal or tax matters, for example), they need to see cyber risk as an integral part of their general enterprise risk management process.
"We need much more of this accessible, realistic approach. Ditch the jargon and the mystery, and show how we can all safely get the most out of the fantastic opportunities which the digital world offers us. Well done to AXELOS for showing us the way!”
Richard Knowlton, Chairman of Richard Knowlton Associates and former Vodafone Group Director of Corporate Security
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