Strategies For Executive Protection

Strategies For Executive Protection

Welcome to the fourth installment of Diode’s series on digital executive protection!

Over the last several weeks, we’ve looked at the nature of the cybersecurity risks to organizations and their team members that exist in today’s rapidly changing digital world. This has included:

1) Defining what exactly digital executive protection actually is,

2) Providing an overview of the web of laws and complex regulatory landscape that inform the requirements of around executive protection, and

3) Evaluating the actual nature of the cyber risks, costs, liabilities, and harms that organization’s face if they take a laissez-faire attitude towards digital executive protection.

This article in our series will focus on the strategies and solutions needed in order to avoid data breaches stemming from inadequate digital security among executives and their trusted advisors. As noted in a recent article in BankInfoSecurity on the Blurring Personal-Professional Executive Risks of a CISO, “nearly half of more than 500 CISOs reported cyberattacks on the personal lives of their executives, indicating the growing prevalence of hackers targeting individual employees - and skirting the strong protections of large enterprises…”.

While there are many dimensions to the types of protections that can be provided to address these types of cyber risks, we will focus today on the glaring need for the use of a more secure network infrastructure to support the communication and collaboration needs of executives.   

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End-to-End Encrypted Messaging

Transitioning teams from email and non-encrypted messaging apps to end-to-end encrypted (E2EE) messaging platforms for collaborating on sensitive projects is an essential first step in safeguarding executive data. These secure platforms ensure that messages are encrypted throughout transmission, meaning the content is scrambled until it reaches the intended recipient, thereby ensuring data privacy, mitigating unauthorized access, and preventing data tampering.

Diode provides this important security feature for direct messaging and group chats, ensuring the protection of any team’s communication needs. Operating fully on the E2EE framework, it is also secured through hardened smart contracts running on a decentralized blockchain infrastructure within an autonomous environment, eliminating third party involvement and effectively reducing a major attack surface.  

File-Sharing and Collaboration

A large issue with data security is when sensitive information, such as that handled by executives, is shared and intercepted, particularly through cloud and centralized servers. Storing data in these systems makes it vulnerable to external providers and susceptible to single-point failures. Disruptions to the cloud server, whether due to delays or cyberattacks, can lead to data exposure and disruptions in processing.

To mitigate the issue of sensitive data being put at risk, there must be a secure file-sharing and content collaboration process used by executives within their companies. Diode has developed this solution through integrating decentralized storage features that eliminate centralized servers, and safeguard data from third party access while providing speedy file transfers. For account security, it uses a Backup Code approach, further reducing the risk of server-based compromises. 

Secure Web Portal

When information is shared via the cloud, it is first intercepted by a third party before being fully sent to the intended recipient. Many of these third parties often “listen in” on the data being sent, collecting information that does not belong to them. Additionally, there are significant security concerns regarding attacks on third parties, with many companies experiencing security breaches as a result of breaches in their third party systems.

However, the use of web browsers remains essential for most people, which is why Diode created a secure web portal. Often, users need to share or collect data with individuals who do not have Diode installed. So, every user can send a share link to any file or folder, which is accessible from any web browser. The recipient can then download and upload this link via their web browser, all while ensuring the information remains fully secure.

Zero Trust Technology To Replace VPNs

Many companies rely on VPNs to secure their remote connections to protect their data from being intercepted by unauthorized entities. However, VPN vulnerabilities are on the rise. Granting access to an organization’s network through a VPN provides direct entry to computers and organizational IT assets, creating opportunities for exploitation. There is an assumption of safety for anyone within the VPN, which can be a dangerous misconception. 

Alternatively, some companies, such as Diode, have developed networks and applications for global organizations that replace VPN usage with Zero Trust architecture. With the implementation of these principles, a Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) solution will enhance the security of company resources. Unlike VPNs, Zero Trust permits only specific identities to connect, governs permissioned access to each resource, and its connections use a Trust Broker that enables secure connections without IT configuration. So, not only is Zero Trust networking both more secure and easier to manage, it also is more accessible for executive protection.

Diode is specifically unique with Zero Trust architecture because of how the Trust Broker is secured. Many of those implementing ZTNA will use physical and cybersecurity measures for the Trust Broker servers. However, this puts the Access Control Lists and connection integrity at risk. If there is an insider threat, such as an unreliable IT administrator or a physical breach of the server, the overall Zero Trust system can be exposed to side-channel attacks. Diode, on the other hand, mathematically secures the Trust Broker, eliminating the vulnerabilities that traditional ZTNA has. 

Protected Identities

Many services providing communication or storage tools often require emails, phone numbers, names, addresses, and other personal information to allow for the use of their platforms. However, all these pieces of information collectively create a collection of Personally Identifiable Information (PII). If the service being used experiences a breach, it could unnecessarily expose its users’ identities, potentially leading to further complications.

Diode functions without ever gathering user metadata, phone numbers, or emails of its users, while also offering its users anonymity and pseudonymity to safeguard teams and their affiliated contact networks. All Diode asks for upon signing up is a pseudo-anonymous username - the chat history, data, and identity of any user is completely inaccessible to both Diode and anyone outside the intended recipient(s).  


To sum up this series of articles on digital executive protection, safeguarding against cybersecurity threats requires proactive measures and constant vigilance. It’s crucial to recognize the complicated nature of these threats and the need for continuous improvement - especially when it comes to executive protection. 

We encourage those seeking to increase the security of their executives and protect sensitive information to implement Diode’s tools. With features such as the E2EE framework, an Open Zero Trust architecture, protected identities, secure web portal, and decentralized storage, Diode provides top-tier security for anyone handling sensitive information.

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