Fraud and cybercrime: simple steps to protect your business
Six simple steps you can take to protect your business from the threat of cybercrime.
Professional services firms in the UK – including accountants – are attractive targets for criminals and, as a result, are particularly vulnerable to fraud and cybercrime attacks.
Firms that are aware of the risks and take the necessary steps to protect themselves are much less likely to be successfully targeted, and are also better placed to recover from a successful attack.
Post-recession, rates of fraud and cybercrime continue to increase. KPMG’s latest fraud barometer suggests that the cost of fraud in the UK has risen by 22% over the last year, while the Financial Cost of Fraud Report 2015 puts the cost of fraud for UK businesses at around 3% of total expenditure.
Nor is it just money that is at risk. Information is an increasingly valuable asset to cyber criminals.
Protect your clients and your business Make sure you and your colleagues are aware of the risks and how to protect against them. Simple steps you can take now to help protect your business include:
Keep cyber security front of mind – regular training and visual reminders around the office
NEVER reveal your bank account security information on a website or over the phone
Require two people to set up or authorise any high-value payments
Ensure your systems are up to date. At a minimum: Do NOT use Windows XP; Internet Explorer v8 or run your systems on Microsoft Server 2003
Ideally do not use a free email account such as Gmail, Hotmail or Yahoo mail, or share documents with Drop-box (unless you encrypt the document first)
Do not access confidential information on an insecure (un-password protected) wifi network.
While your professional indemnity insurance will provide protection where a breach of your cyber-security leads to a client claim, this does not address any wider costs. Our experience is that the quality and speed of breach response is a vital component in limiting damage – both in terms of operational and reputational issues.