Key Cybersecurity Concerns for Accountants
Cyber risks are more prevalent than ever in today’s digitized society. What was once categorized as an IT issue in this industry, cyber-attacks are becoming more of a focal point for accountants and board members alike. As these exposures are becoming more and more of a threat, your clients need to review their Accountant Privacy & Network Security to ensure they have the protection they need.
According to the Institute of Interamerican Accounting Association (IAA) survey “Pulse of the Profession,” 65 percent of almost 1,900 respondents said cybersecurity risk was at a high level or had increased, yet only 14 percent claimed to be actively involved in cybersecurity protection. Here are a few key ideas to bring to their attention in order to safeguard your client’s assets and confidential information.
Understand the Breadth of Cybersecurity Risk- Recommend a risk management program for your client and require audits to be performed annually by an outside company. Monitoring this risk consistently can minimize loss in all departments as it is a larger threat than IT alone can manage.
Understand Legal Implications- Although very common, using third-party IT service providers can pose cybersecurity risks. As mentioned above, the auditing process should be done on the provider to ensure accuracy and safety. Make the auditor aware of the data breach definition and laws in your client’s state. Further, management should be informed if a breach is attempted to determine the effectiveness of their response program.
Have Access to Cybersecurity Expertise- A chief information security officer, or CISO, should be appointed and met with annually to handle the risk management program.
Establish Security Framework- Financial industries should allow for more security coverage in their budget due to the nature of their work. Specific risks should be evaluated and protected accordingly.
Evaluate Risks- Your client’s risk management program doesn’t have to stay stagnant. Upon annual review, management and directors should assess which risks were avoided and which were accepted. Ensuring the cyber risk insurance policy is adequate can maintain effective protection for your client’s accounting firm.
At PL Risk, we specialize in providing errors and omissions insurance to protect your clients in various financial industries. For more information on our offerings and services, contact our specialists today at (855) 403-5982.
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