Cybercrime is the fastest growing crime in the U.S.3 and is estimated to cost $6T4 in damages by 2021. There are many reasons for this increase:
As people and businesses increasingly move their personal lives and business operations online, more opportunities are created for cybercriminals.
Data breaches increased by 273% in the first quarter of 2020, compared to the same time last year.5 COVID-19 quickly forced employees to work remotely and introduced vulnerabilities, as staff logged into their work emails from unsecure home networks. Many employers also didn’t have cybersecurity risk measures in place and had not fully educated staff on best practices.
Today’s intertwined supply chains make an ideal breeding ground for cybercrime. In fact, 40% of security breaches are indirect attacks that target weak links in the supply chain.6
Cyber thieves are finding new, innovative ways to hack into systems. Employees can unintentionally compromise data and systems by falling for sophisticated scams, such as phishing and whaling.
Organizations need to make cybersecurity a strategic priority. Long-term consequences of cybercrime, such as large financial hits or a decline in customers’ trust, can take years from which to recover.
A strong cybersecurity program:
Protects client and customer information
Increases customer and stakeholder confidence
Improves productivity (viruses slow systems)
Prevents significant financial loss
Contributes to favorable brand reputation
As a CPA, you can play a critical role in protecting your organizations and clients with a strong cybersecurity risk management program. What makes you qualified to lead cybersecurity efforts?
Your expertise in risk management
Your knowledge of financial data flows
Your understanding of systems and controls
Your intelligence in IT and technology
Your experience using cybersecurity tools and frameworks
Your position as a trusted adviser