Abstract

The purpose of this report is to review the cyber-threat landscape, to discuss cybersecurity and its future trends and areas of concern, and to highlight particular areas that are likely to have direct impact on the future of accountancy.

As computers are playing an ever-increasing role in what finance professionals have to do on a daily basis, cybersecurity is becoming inextricably linked to such fundamentally important tasks 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.

Professional accountants and finance professionals have to step up to the challenge and learn how to survive the tidal wave of cybercrime.

Foreword

Cybercrime gets so much attention and coverage from the media that there is a danger of its being perceived as a kind of familiar, omnipresent and inevitable ill force that everyone simply needs to accept and learn how to live with. In fact, nothing can be further from the truth.

Cybersecurity is a complex issue and it can only be ensured if businesses and individuals appreciate that they themselves have to accept a large part of the responsibility for it, because neither governments and law enforcement nor IT professionals can be relied upon to provide adequate protection.

It is now essential but no longer sufficient to understand and follow the basic rules of cyber-hygiene, as cyber-criminals constantly find new and inventive ways of perpetrating crime, at many different levels. This report by ACCA and IMA emphasises that finance professionals need to keep an eye on the changing cyber-threat landscape and be wary of knowledge gaps. A ‘head in the sand’ attitude is not a viable option.

Right at the heart of this is the issue of clients’ trust, which finance professionals have to keep, no matter what. For as long as cybercrime remains a threat to the trust that clients and customers have in finance professionals and companies, the future of accountancy depends on cooperation across the profession to help combat, and defeat, the ‘enfant terrible’ of crime.

Ng Boon Yew
Executive Chairman Raffles Campus Pte Ltd and Chairman, ACCA Accountancy Futures Academy

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Cybersecurity - fighting crime's enfant terrible (full report)
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