Cyber Security for the Accountancy Sector
The Cyber Resilience Centre are committed to supporting accounting firms in the North West region by offering a range of free guidance, industry-specific events and affordable cyber security services,. Designed by seconded Police officers and ISO accredited Risk Managers these are aligned to the UK Government’s Cyber Essentials certification scheme and ISO 27001.
The Cyber Resilience Centre works to support accountants in Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Cheshire, Lancashire and Cumbria.
Over 1,400 accountancy firms in the North West could be facing cyber-attacks each year, based on the latest stats from the ONS and the Government's 2022 Cyber Security Breaches Survey.
UK accountancy firms could face losing £19,400 in costs due to lost data or assets after a cyber security breach.
The Cyber Resilience Centre can provide accounting firms with regular security updates and guidance to keep them updated on the latest threats and cyber-attacks facing the financial services sector.
What Threats do Accountants Face?
Cybercriminals exploit the personal data that accountants use daily
Accountants deal with personal data on a daily basis – financial data, Tax IDs, bank details, payroll data and employee details. This data is can be sold on the dark web or used to inflict further cyber attacks on a business or individuals.
Accountants are seen as a gateway to sensitive information
Accountants are seen as a soft target with fewer security barriers. If your firm has little or no in-house IT/Security expertise to stop a cyber attack, your staff need to be trained to be the first line of defence.
Be aware of phishing emails and text messages during busy periods
Cyber Attacks whilst often sophisticated, often are simple phishing emails (or text messages) that are sent during busy tax periods. Such as the tax year-end and tax return deadlines.
Is your accountancy software secured against vulnerabilities?
With many accounting firms all using similar computer software, if a cybercriminal can find a vulnerability, they will have an opportunity to attack a large number of accountants.
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Benefits for Accountants when working with the Cyber Resilience Centre
We can provide a range of affordable, professional cyber security services that help you accountancy firms assess, build and manage your firm's cyber security capabilities, build confidence in your staff, understand your vulnerabilities and secure your business.
You can also download our Cyber Incident Response Pack, which contains documents to help support your business plan its response to a cyber incident. These documents are designed to compliment any existing plans or assist you in creating one.
As an accountancy firm, you will regularly store, manage, and oversee valuable financial data from your clients. You’re entrusted with sensitive business data, so accountancy professionals need to be aware of the latest cyber-related risks and cyber-attacks.
We can perform a comprehensive review of publicly available information about your accountancy firm. This can help you learn what is being said about your company, what account details or passwords have been leaked or if there are any damaging news stories or social media posts.
It's important you test your IT system configuration with a vulnerability assessment, this assessment uses the same techniques used by hackers to ensure your company is not wide open to a cyber attack.
We have designed a Cyber Health Check to provide accountancy businesses with a summary of their cyber risks through a self-assessment questionnaire and police-certified recommendations report and action plan.
Jade Hutchinson FCCA
Forensic Accountant, GMP
“It is important to ensure that your employees receive ongoing training in identifying scams, particularly those working in accounts payable, as the consequences of falling for Invoicing fraud can inevitably result in redundancies and the closure of businesses.
Businesses should look to foster a culture of fraud awareness within their workplace in order to reduce the associated risks."
Would your business pass a Cyber Health Check?
Our Cyber Health Check is an audit of your business strengths and vulnerabilities, helping to protect your business from the latest cyber threats by filling out a self-assessment questionnaire.
The results of this three-step questionnaire help us identify the next steps you need to take to make your business secure.
We'll provide a police-certified recommendations report and plan how we can protect your business going forward.