No industry is immune to cyberattacks and the ripple effects, which can really be devastating. The financial industry most especially makes an attractive target and the reasons are not far fetched; access to personal, and sensitive information, while also serving as a gateway to larger targets.
As an accounting firm, the first step is to be aware of the kind of threats your accounting firm is up against.
Here are 3 of the biggest cybersecurity threats targeting accounting firms currently:
Data Breaches: Data breach exposes confidential information to unauthorized people. Aside from the huge financial damages that this causes, data breaches also have reputational/brand damages as it is a breach of confidentiality.
People assume outside hackers are always the cause of data breaches, but this is not always the case. Data breaches can happen because of poor data handling, oversight, or employee negligence. A firm could be breached by; an accidental insider who unintentionally reads files without proper authorization; or a malicious insider that seeks access to information; lost or stolen devices; or hackers.
Ransomware: Ransomware is a type of malware designed to disrupt, invade, and cause harm to your system. Many firms with weak security policies and infrastructure are vulnerable to ransomware. According to a report, the number of ransomware attacks on organizations has increased by 15 percent in the past two years. This shows that accounting firms, large, mid-sized, or small, must place a huge emphasis on cybersecurity, as cyber-criminals increase their attacks on organizations.
As cybercriminals are ramping up ransomware attacks, accounting firms need to evaluate their security strategy, consistently update security measures, and regularly hold company-wide security awareness training.
Phishing: phishing is one of the oldest tricks in the cybersecurity landscape, but one in 3 Canadians have received a phishing attack since the pandemic started. This shows that this tactic is still being used, and still dangerous. These days, with so many people working from home, cybercriminals are getting in touch with professionals under the guise of working together. They often impersonate co-workers via emails, or texts, trying to trick people into clicking malicious links, downloading, or opening malicious files.
As old as phishing scams are, accounting firms need to encourage staff/clients to be vigilant and cautious before opening emails, clicking links, or downloading attachments.
Cybersecurity should be a priority for Accounting Firms
The Covid19 pandemic has without a doubt pushed businesses to adapt to a new normal: working from home. Without much of a choice, companies are accelerating their digital transformation to keep up with the present-day operating models, and cybersecurity is a major concern. As organizations increase their digital presence and reliance on digital tools for productivity and operations, this opens them up for cyber attacks.
Without a doubt, technology is much more important in not just our personal lives, but our professional lives as well, and it is crucial that organizations set the right cybersecurity policies and infrastructure to ensure a cyber-safe working environment.
Many small or mid-sized accounting firms believe they are less likely to experience a cyberattack, as they often see themselves as too small a target, this is far from the reality. Accounting firms, no matter the size, must take steps to proactively protect themselves against risks they might be vulnerable to.
Let us take the burden off you!
While the world is beginning to take cybersecurity a bit more seriously, we believe firms like yours need to give extra attention to the topic as threats are growing exponentially. It is important that companies like yours be more proactive in addressing threats and preventing them rather than being reactive, only responding or acting when they occur. This is not to take away the importance of having the right infrastructure for cyberattack detection, response, and recovery capabilities.
At ActiveCo, we specialize in creating a personalized cybersecurity plan for your business that can evolve to face new digital threats before they become a reputational nightmare. If your current cybersecurity plan hasn’t been updated in a while, it is not properly equipped to handle the dynamic threats wreaking havoc across the world. We ensure your network, and all endpoints are protected with our security layers to lower your vulnerabilities in the growing threats to the business world landscape.
To find out more about cybersecurity strategies for your business, cybersecurity risk assessments, improving access management, and tightening infrastructure security, take a look at the services offered by ActiveCo Technology Management