The sophistication of global cyberattacks should be reflected in corporate risk mitigation methods. The most frequent motive for hackers to target businesses in these high-stakes operations is money. According to the IBM "Cost of a Data Breach" report, the typical breach will cost enterprises up to $4.35 million in damages in 2022. Businesses must develop a multilayered approach to cybersecurity with the involvement of multiple professionals if they are to effectively avoid, identify, and respond to cyber threats given the potentially disastrous effects on their operations.
Fig.1: Steps in Cyber forensics
Companies must utilise financial and technological skills to collaborate on prevention measures in order to develop the most effective cyber-risk prevention and recovery team. Accountants can monitor the possible effects on a corporation's cash and controls to define priority functions and vulnerable financial business data that needs to be safeguarded while cybersecurity professionals concentrate on the who, what, where, and how of a potential breach. Forensic accountants, who are skilled in auditing and looking at risk factors in the finances of people or firms, are often the ones who can do this the most successfully. Together, these two positions can stop even the most sophisticated corporate cybercrimes.
Here are some of the ways these professionals can effectively work together to prevent and recover from highly intelligent attacks on financial data.
Proper prevention of financial cybercrimes takes a diversified skill set, tapping into financial and IT specialties to create the strongest possible defences against breaches. For cyber professionals, this includes identifying and closing gaps in internal controls and technologies and implementing the proper safeguards — from two-factor authentication programs to file encryptions and more. Meanwhile, forensic accountants are well-versed on corporate finances and can detect the misappropriation of funds before losses are incurred.
Cyber professionals are also invaluable assets to financial teams in alerting them to new threats as the digital landscape changes so that proper preventative measures can be implemented. For example, there is a new trend of hackers using Meta business accounts as an entry point to breach financial information. This typically involves the stealing of customer credit card and bank information when they make transactions through the social media platform.
Fig.2: Responsibilities of attack prevention
Obviously, suffering from an attack of this kind can lead to a damaged reputation, monetary consequences, and a loss of consumer trust. Establishing open lines of communication between cyber professionals and those in charge of monitoring business transactions can mean that forensic accountants know what threats they need to be wary of and can make business decisions that are in the best interest of their clients and customers. Also, it can ensure quicker detection of odd transactional activity for early intervention.
Instituting safeguards to proactively defend financial information — and consistently reviewing and updating them — can help to keep corporate funds safe in an era where sophisticated cybercriminals can steal financial information at the click of a key.
Even the best laid plans can fail, especially when the enemy continues to get smarter and stealthier as technology evolves. That's the case when it comes to cybercrime, so planning to fail is just as important as working to avoid failure.
Collaboration between cybersecurity professionals and forensic accountants can ensure that swift, immediate defences are deployed when an attack is executed and that the damage to a business's financial bottom line is as minimal as possible.
In the event of a breach, these professionals must work together to block the attacker and protect as much data and capital as they can. For example, a seasoned forensic accountant brings experience and knowledge of the many forms of corporate fraud, as well as the necessary steps to employ investigative techniques to spot trends and outliers in large data sets as they develop. Immediately upon noticing suspicious activity, they can alert their company's cyber team to quickly employ a variety of techniques to close the digital path to systems while they investigate.
While losses are not ideal, they are difficult to avoid once a cybercrime is effectively executed, even if it was caught and stopped quickly. Post-incident, it is the task of forensic accountants to calculate potential losses, assess and disclose accounting requirements, and assist the cyber team with evidence collection for insurance claim purposes.
Generally, forensic accountants and cybersecurity professionals have the same goal: to safeguard important information. When they use their unique skill sets to collaborate effectively, a corporation has the best chance of evading the consequences of a devastating cyberattack.
Cybersecuritylink is a dedicated cyber consultation company, we strive to provide information security services to your organisation to protect your valuable IP and brand value.
"Cybersecuritylink has performed a number of virtual services for our institution, vulnerability assessment, penetration test, IT audit, and continued with weekly consultant calls. Not once have I noticed a disruption in services, weekly consultant calls are still made, reports have been delivery timely, and the Virtual IT Audit went incredibly smooth!" States Sarah Lachlan, CIO of Argo Pharma PTY LTD. Reach out to us for more information on www.cyberseuritylink.com.au.