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Finance professionals understand importance of cybersecurity, says report

Accountants and other finance professionals are becoming more aware of the risks of cybercrime, according to a study by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA).

The study, titled Cybersecurity – Fighting Crime’s Enfant Terrible, stated that cybercrime is becoming too dangerous for accountants to ignore. However, it found that the majority of accountants and finance professionals clearly understand the importance of the issue, with over 80% saying that their management are concerned about cybercrime.

Dangerous

According to ACCA Head of Business Insights Faye Chua, individual pieces of data such as health records and credit cards are “fetching up to $45 per unit on the black market.”

“With databases holding millions of records now commonplace the consequences of a breach have become too serious to ignore,” she said.

The survey showed that more professionals are becoming aware of the risks of cybercrime, with over 45% of survey respondents being more concerned about the issue than they were 12 months previously.

Mindful

According to the report, accountants and finance professionals need a “strategic approach” to mitigate cybercrime, and they can, and should, “play a leading role in defining certain key areas of such an approach.”

Estimating the financial impact that cybercrime may cause, defining risk strategy and helping businesses to “establish priorities for their most valuable digital resources” were a few of the strategies that the report listed for reducing the risks of cybercrime.

IMA Vice President of Research and Policy Raef Lawson stated that it is “important to be realistic about the resources at your disposal so you can deploy them appropriately” when establishing a plan, and to be effective by implementing a “layered approach to cybersecurity that establishes priorities for your most valuable digital resources.”


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