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Cybersecurity- Fighting Crime's Enfant Terrible

This report, drafted in partnership with ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) as part of The Future Today research program, reviews the cyber-threat landscape, while discussing cybersecurity and its future trends and areas of concern. It highlights particular areas that are likely to have direct impact on the future of accountancy.

“Cybersecurity – Fighting Crime’s Enfant Terrible” discusses how cybersecurity has become inextricably linked to fundamentally important tasks such as protecting the safety and continuity of the business, ensuring confidentiality of sensitive data, and helping clients understand and manage a wide range of cyber-risks. Other key considerations are that cybersecurity is no longer a purely technical issue, and has become so complex that there is no single third party that a business can fully rely upon in order to stay secure.

    Key Insights:
    • Cybercriminals probe for all kinds of weakness. Therefore, solutions would usually involve a mix of approaches covering technology, people, and business processes.
    • Accountants and finance professionals can, and should, play an active role in ensuring that their own businesses remain safe and sound. In order to do this, they need to be fully aware of the cyber-threat landscape and "mind the knowledge gap."
    • Company employees need to be fully aware of the dangers that cybercrime presents and of the relevant company policies and procedures.
    • Data offers great opportunities for generating revenue, but it may also present a massive liability from a legal point of view, as development of data protection regulation around the world begins to make a significant impact on the way in which global businesses are required to approach the security of personal information.
    • A relatively new phenomenon that is being increasingly exploited by cybercriminals is our so called "online presence” – someone can collect massive amounts of information about an individual or a company by tracking them online, and then use it to fabricate an invented scenario that increases the chance that the victim will unwillingly divulge sensitive information or do something that they would never normally do.

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