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How to Create a Relevant Cybersecurity Strategy

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With cybersecurity attacks on the rise, CPAs and other accounting professionals play a crucial role in protecting financial data. Here, Natalie Rooney provides an overview of the most common cyberattacks, such as malware and phishing, and offers tips on making sure your organization has the proper protections in place.

Oct 15th 2021
Owner Executive Communications
Columnist
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The cybersecurity landscape is always changing: Between 2019 and 2020, ransomware attacks rose by 180 percent in North America alone, according to a 2021 report by cybersecurity firm SonicWall. According to Cybercrime Magazine, the total global cost of damages from ransomware attacks is projected to exceed $20 billion in 2021, and the total global cost of cybercrime damages is predicted to soon be $6 trillion annually.

For organizations and individuals, creating protections against ever-evolving, ever-multiplying faceless criminals that steal identities and shut down businesses remains a challenge. The meteoric rise of ransomware attacks is just one facet of cybercrime proliferation amidst the pandemic that is creating an environment in which even newly developed cybersecurity risk management strategies are already outdated.

Charles Seets, Jr., partner and principal with Ernst & Young, says the cyberthreat landscape will never stop evolving. 

“If we’re connected to the internet, we’re vulnerable, and threat actors know that. They’re operating relatively anonymously and often outside the reach of the law. It’s a complicated environment in which to defend ourselves,” Seets said.

For CPAs and finance professionals, the threat is especially ominous: You hold the key to troves of very important, very private financial data. It’s therefore essential to do all you can to stay ahead of cybercriminals for as long as possible.

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