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Finance professionals should mitigate cybercrime

Anuradha Shukla | April 12, 2016
ACCA and IMA's study assesses the cyber-threat landscape across the globe.

Accountants and finance professionals should be proactive in defining key areas of a strategic approach to mitigating global cybercrime risks, according to a new study.

A survey by IMA (Institute of Management Accountants) and ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) indicates that accountants and other finance professionals understand the importance of the issue.

Eighty-five percent of respondents said that management at their respective companies was concerned about cybercrime risks.

Findings of the survey include creating reasonable estimates of financial impact that different types of cybersecurity breaches will cause, enabling a business to be realistic about its ability to respond to an attack and/or recover.

"Exploitation of the myriad weaknesses within cybersecurity is now being perpetrated by a rogues gallery of hostile nation states, digitally enabled terrorists, conniving competitors, organised crime syndicates, hacktivists and even the odd disgruntled employee," said Faye Chua, ACCA's head of business insights.

Strategic approach

Accountants and finance professionals should define risk management strategy and help businesses to establish priorities for their most valuable digital resources.

They should closely follow the work of government and various regulators to have clear, up-to-date information on adequate legislation.

These professionals should also know about the requirements for adequate disclosure and prompt investigation of cybersecurity breaches.

However, it is important to be realistic about the resources at disposal when establishing a plan so businesses can deploy them appropriately.

"Predicting the potential implications of a breach is crucial to enabling a swift recovery should the unthinkable occur. Putting a 'plan for failure' in place might feel like an admission of weakness, but it is the best way to accelerate the process of repair after an incident," said Faye Chua, ACCA's head of business insights.


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