Hacking costs companies $15.4 million per attack, according to the Senior Director of Security Consulting at cyber security firm, Spirent. As both, the costs and frequency associated with cyber crime continue to rise on a yearly basis it's important that your organization gets a firm understand of the cyber security environment. Although cyber crime doesn't show much of a biased towards a specific industry, there are a few different aspects of it that accountants should understand more so than other companies. We've listed the top 5 things accountants should know about cyber crime.
1. Threat Evolution
As technology continues to advance at a staggering pace, cyber crime begins to adapt and evolve. Savy hackers will use increased levels of deception to hijack an entire company's infrastructure. What does this mean for accountants? If your organization starts to fall behind and does not utilize the latest technology trends within the industry, you will eventually fall victim to cyber crime.
2. Cloud Security
There is a massive shift within the accounting world from traditional accounting software towards more automated and cloud-based solutions. Cloud solutions store their data on huge networks of web servers that run online rather than on their own computers. These cloud programs are more inexpensive and more secure than traditional accounting software.
However, it's important to understand that companies are solely responsible for any security breaches on the part of the supplier holding their data. When evaluating cloud-based software it's important to fully understand the supplier's security and data backup protocols.
3. Cyber Protection
What can you do in the meantime while new cyber security technology is in development? Your management team should have an overview of your IT department. Keeping employees devices up-to-date is one of the easiest ways to ensure that your organization is practicing safer business practices. Another way to protect your organization is to understand the value of the different types of data your organizationstores. Some data, especially your client's financial information, should be a top priority to protect.
The chances are high that you have employees within your organization who use their own smartphones or tablets for work. Although these devices can improve productivity and make working from home easier than ever, it could cause IT security problems if workers download customer data or other sensitive information. When determining whether or not you should implement a "bring your own device" policy, make certain that you establish sound procedure policies.
Cyber threats could also present a good opportunity for accountants. Industry experts usually focus on cyber security tips for large businesses. This allows for accountants to provide new services to engage their clients about securing their information. As the accounting role is starting to shift away from the traditional role and more towards a guidance role, talking with your clients about how they can protect their information presents a huge opportunity.
Accountants need to understand cyber crime, especially with the endless amount of sensitive data they have to manage on a daily basis. Understanding cyber crime is the first step in the process towards secure business practices.