Why accounting firms are best placed to offer cybersecurity services
Cybersecurity is a major concern for businesses of all sizes. In fact, the threat of a successful cyber-attack increases every year. Without a protection plan in place, your business, customers, and data are all vulnerable. Even worse, if a cyber-attack occurs, you may never recover from the damage to your reputation and the cost of dealing with the fallout.
Working with our accounting firms that also provide cybersecurity services is one of the best ways to protect your business. In fact, our teams are uniquely suited to provide these critical services. Here are a few reasons why:
1. We’re trusted business advisors
Many large accounting firms already provide their clients with security and control-related services. This may include auditing, examinations, and advisory services. Since you already trust your accounting firm to help you achieve your business objectives, so it’s not a far leap to extend the services they provide.
Rather than spend valuable time interviewing a new firm that you’re not sure you can trust, adding new services from your accounting firm will save you time and give you additional peace of mind.
2. We take a holistic approach
Involving all levels of an organization’s management and your most trusted advisors allows you to take a holistic approach to your cybersecurity, rather than piecemealing it together. Considering how quickly the business and cyber landscapes change, this is truly the only way to stay ahead of the continually evolving threats and risks facing your business.
Accounting firms that offer cybersecurity services often have multidisciplinary teams that bring a combination of unique strengths to the table. From expertise in performing audits to extensive IT and cybersecurity knowledge, a knowledgeable accounting firm is uniquely positioned to detect potential vulnerabilities and provide actionable advice to help minimize risk.
3. We’re experts in preparation and protection
Properly protecting your firm from cyber-attacks requires organization and attention to detail. Trusting your accounting firm to handle your cybersecurity means you’re choosing an expert who is already familiar with much of the data and information that requires protection.
Since we’re already knowledgeable about the interior workings of your firm, your accountant can easily detect areas of vulnerability and make recommendations to close any potential areas of weakness.
4. You’ll Enjoy Cost Savings
While many cybersecurity firms cater to large businesses and organizations, the threat is very real for businesses of all sizes. Working with accounting firms that offer cybersecurity is often a much more cost-effective solution for small and medium-sized business owners.
Is Your Company Currently at Risk?
Now that you understand the benefits of working with an accounting firm that offers cybersecurity services, you may wonder whether your company is currently at risk. In almost all cases, the answer is yes!
If your business handles any type of sensitive client data, you’re responsible for protecting it. This includes Personally Identifiable Information (PII), Protected Health Information (PHI), and cardholder data. There are a variety of laws in place that dictate your responsibilities.
For example, if you're located in the United States, you must follow the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI), and other applicable laws. There are also state breach notification laws that clearly explain your cybersecurity compliance obligations. In Europe, you're required to follow General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) rules. Failing to meet the rules that apply to your business and location can land you in serious trouble and cause irreparable damage to your business and your brand.
Companies that are considering or are currently undergoing a merger or acquisition or that have insufficient IT resources may experience even more cyber-vulnerability.
If any of these circumstances apply to your business, it’s important to consult with a cybersecurity expert as soon as possible.
Common Types of Cyber Attacks
Understanding how to avoid cyber attacks is one of the most important things you can do to protect your business. Here’s a look at some of the most common types of attacks business owners face:
Unfortunately, phishing attacks are becoming more common and more sophisticated. They often arrive in the form of an email that looks legitimate but is designed to dupe you into providing valuable information like your passwords or credit card information. These emails will often appear to come from your bank, a large retailer, or other trusted entity.
The term “malware” is short for “malicious software.” It’s unwanted software that is installed on your device or system without your knowledge or permission.
There are many different types of malware. Some, like spyware, are designed to track what you’re doing and gain access to your credentials and other valuable data. Others, like ransomware, are created to extort the victim while still other types are simply designed to create some type of disruption.
3. SQL Injection
If your business uses a database-driven website and the permissions are not set properly, attackers may be able to exploit the system to read, modify, create, or delete the data stored in your database. In some cases, they may also be able to shut down the database, recover deleted content, and even issue commands to your operating system.
Learn More About HLB’s Cybersecurity Services
HLB’s Cyber and Information Security Systems team is dedicated to helping businesses and organizations prepare for and protect themselves against cyber-attacks. If an attack occurs, we’ll provide you with the immediate support you need to quickly respond and recover, so you can minimise potential damage to your business.
To learn more about our cybersecurity services, contact us for a free proposal.