Upping your cybersecurity IQ has become a key to high-tech protection. That’s the conventional wisdom, anyway — educating yourself, your employees, and your organization is an extra layer of proactive protection against cyber crime. It’s like insurance against the bad guys.
But it might be time to change that mindset.
In fact, experts say education is no longer enough and cybersecurity can no longer be viewed merely as insurance against an attack. Bolting a little cybersecurity onto your existing strategy doesn’t cut it today. Rather, it should be baked into everything you do as part of your strategic DNA.
“Cybersecurity is unfortunately no longer an option, but an essential element of any organization’s infrastructure,” Mitek Systems Chief Technology Officer Stephen Ritter told CFO.com. “Cybersecurity has become a priority for policymakers, as so many industries will need cybersecurity and the associated infrastructure to comply with (future) regulations.”
That type of mindset is more important than ever, CFO.com’s Adam Zaki writes, given the extent to which businesses rely on data to innovate and make decisions — and the fact that nearly 80% of CFOs say they have “encountered at least one security incident that resulted in compromised data or financial loss in the last 18 months.”
Scary stuff. Fortunately, there are steps leaders can take to begin the process of building cyber-ready organizations. The key is to guard against both outside attacks and inside vulnerabilities. CPA Karen Nakamura offers an extensive list of suggestions in the Journal of Accountancy article “Cybersecurity risk: Constant vigilance required.”
Another key is helping every employee understand that they are an important piece of the cybersecurity puzzle. The problem isn’t exclusive to leadership or tech teams. Everyone has a role to play.
“In cybersecurity, an organization is only as strong as its weakest link,” writes Leeza Garner, Esq., a legal studies and business ethics lecturer at Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. “… The best training and awareness programs not only account for legal obligations, but they also consider employees’ specific responsibilities and how everyone interacts with cybersecurity in differing ways.”
Learn more at the CPA Summit
Cybersecurity and the ways in which businesses can protect themselves will take center stage during the MACPA’s 2022 CPA Summit, a virtual half-day event scheduled for Oct. 21.
The event will feature a keynote address on “Building a Culture of Innovation Post-Pandemic” by Tom Hood, CPA, executive vice president of business growth and engagement with the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants.
In addition, panel conversations will take deep dives into the following topics:
- The future of Client Advisory Services
- ESG: What’s the CPA’s role?
- Automation for CPA firms
- Automation for CPAs in business and industry
- Leading hybrid teams
The event is free for MACPA members and worth 4.5 hours of CPE. Get complete details and register here.