What Are the Biggest Threats to Accountants?

You may be wondering why any accountant would invest in CPA cyber insurance. In all cases, it's because those accountants understand how great a risk they face of having their data stolen by cybercriminals.

Today's hackers have one simple strategy - to compromise data they can exploit for profit and personal gain. Since accountants work with financial information that is both valuable and sensitive, they are a natural target for hackers searching for a reliable payday.

Cybersecurity is a way to minimize the likelihood of an attack. CPA cyber insurance is a way to minimize the consequences of a cyberattack. Coverage provides essential protection after accounting firms experience a digital incursion. Let's take a look at how CPAs can minimize their risk:

Minimizing the Risk
High-profile attacks have put cybersecurity at the front of everyone's minds. Yet organizations continue to underestimate the threat and overestimate their level of protection. The unavoidable fact is that all accountants are at risk and all of them are under-protected. That does not mean they have dismissed cybersecurity entirely. It simply means they have failed to account for the full depth of the problem. Protection is impossible until accountants get realistic about how the issue affects the industry and individual firms.

Using Poor Passwords
When a hacker is able to guess a password, it's like finding a skeleton key that opens every lock. Savvy hackers can leverage access to some information to gain access to all information, and most passwords are unfortunately simple to compromise. Consider using a password management tool. Password management is fairly straightforward in practice, but many accountants and organizations ignore best practices.

Falling for Phishing Schemes
These schemes continue to be common because they continue to be highly effective. Instead of relying on technical wizardry, phishing schemes simply try to trick users into offering up sensitive data or login credentials. Often these schemes arrive in the form of emails, but hackers use any and every trick imaginable to dupe users. Without comprehensive training and education along with technology that can spot red flags, it's extremely hard to avoid phishing schemes entirely.

Relying on Legacy Technology
Many firms rely on technology that is years or even decades old. This technology may have little to no built-in security. Or it may be ineligible for updates and support. Or perhaps it's very hard to apply security tools to. Hackers know this and specifically target legacy technology systems because they're easy to compromise.  

In addition to exploiting known vulnerabilities, hackers will also identify "zero-day" vulnerabilities that exist in new software but have been overlooked by the developers. Troubling, both old and new technology is vulnerable to an attack.

This is a list of common threats, but it's not a list of all the threats. Even worse, the total number of threats grows monthly as newer and more sophisticated schemes are devised. The field of accounting is all about providing stability and certainty, which is why it's an extreme dereliction of duty to neglect cybersecurity.

For more information about protecting your firm and the clients you serve, trust in CyberPolicy. We provide free cyber insurance quotes in mere minutes.

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