A robust plan will minimise business interruption and reputational damage
Recent incidents point to accountants facing an increasing risk of their IT systems being hacked. In 2016, for example, Deloitte was the target of an attack that compromised the emails and plans of some of the firm’s blue-chip clients.
Accountants’ sensitive data makes them a prime target for hackers looking for data they can then monetise. Firms should split their cyber defences against such attacks between:
To optimise your cyber risk management, it is vital to run the latest versions of software – in particular browsers and operating systems – and keep them up to date. This can be achieved by taking the following simple steps:
If you do incur a cyber breach, the speed and accuracy of your response can make all the difference.
The more planning your company does before a breach, the better your chances of minimising the business interruption and reputational damage that can ensue. Ensure any PR and communications resource you have plays an integral part in the pre-breach planning process.
Following a breach, a company invariably feels a tension between the need to communicate with customers quickly and the need to communicate accurately. To optimise the chances of striking the right balance, it’s vital for a company to involve a range of stakeholders in the pre-breach planning stages. (See ‘Cyber breach planning: building your A-team’ for more analysis.)
This should ensure that the timing and extent of your communications to third parties is a business decision that has factored in the various implications, and not just those of one or two divisions.
Typically you can retain customers’ business if they feel that you have communicated with them the cause and effects of the breach quickly, accurately and openly, and have put them first throughout this process.
Lockton has produced six posters that can be distributed within your practice or clients to help raise awareness of various risks.
For more information, please contact Lockton’s dedicated ACCA team on 0117 9065057 or email ACCAaccountants@uk.lockton.com.