Are accounting firms are a weak link in cybersecurity?
As accounting becomes increasingly digital, firms are facing brand new threats. The training to become an accountant has shifted away from understanding the basic processes of accounting to understanding the IT systems and software that are underpinning the advances in efficiency and productivity.
However, with this new digital accounting age comes unfamiliar digital problems. Nearly half of practices in accounting, banking, and finance are still unsure of the regulations laid out by GDPR and only one in ten see cyberattacks as a leading threat to their business. Despite this, Aon, who released this data, claim that financial companies are often the weakest link with criminal data breaches. So what can be done to prevent becoming just another statistic?
Managing IT systems isn’t in the job description as an accountant. While a basic understanding is key to being successful, the duty of protecting your sensitive information from falling into the wrong hands should lie with a professional and reliable IT services company. These companies can ensure you have the most modern cybersecurity defences to protect your clients, but these systems aren’t infallible.
Becoming the victim of a cyberattack is not a question of if, but when it will happen. Even companies with the biggest cyber defence systems, like Amazon, are still subject to huge data breaches despite their massive investment in security. But, surprisingly, it’s internal employees who cause most data breaches (56%).
Privileged users with access to sensitive data are the biggest threat to security. However, internal causes of data breaches are rarely malicious. Rather, they stem from a lack of adequate training and understanding in GDPR and cybersecurity. Even simple things like handing over login information, choosing simple passwords, or leaving computer screens accessible are leading causes of large data breaches which can come at huge costs to the company.
If your company is in breach of GDPR and endangers your client’s sensitive data, you could face a hefty fine. These stand at 4% of your global annual turnover, or 20 million euros, whichever is the highest amount. Therefore, it’s imperative that everyone can navigate the modern dangers of the internet in the digital world of accounting.
At Big Hand, this is an issue we take very seriously. As experienced accountants, we manage your finances, take control of your taxes, and relieve some of the stress of business management from your shoulders so we can focus on building a stronger business with you. And we do in the most secure way we can. To find out more, speak to a member of our team by calling 0161 327 2911.