CPAs, the new Vanguard in the Cyber War.

 

That’s right, in the near future CPAs will become the focal point for conversations around cyber security defence.  The reason?  I’m glad you asked.

As the Equifax and other large profile hacks have demonstrated “the adversary” (What security guys call hackers) is after financial and personal data.  What sometimes doesn’t make the news is the fact that most of these breaches start with the little guys.  The small businesses that support the larger company’s supply chain.

The result of all this is that Small Business needs help in reducing cyber liability or risk losing customers and revenue.

The way this will work is the Small Business owner will be concerned about tax fraud, ransomware, and cyber crime in general.  Because they already talk with their CPAs on a regular basis about a sensitive subject, their money, they will feel comfortable talking about this subject as well.

The conversation will go something like this:

Small Business Owner: “While we are here wrapping up our 2017 tax plan, I have another question.”

CPA: “Sure, what’s up?”

Small Business Owner: “I’m worried about cyber crime.  I have an IT shop that handles my devices but I’m not sure if I’m doing enough.  What do you do?”

This is where the CPA will be able to have a value add and put on the super hero cape.  The advice they give at this point will ether put the Small Business Owner on the path to good cyber hygiene or condition them to not take the problem seriously.

If you’re a CPA, here is what you should say.

CPA: “Personally, my firm works with a company that helps us with cyber security strategy.  They start with understanding our business processes to generate a risk score.  The next step is to create a strategy to reduce that risk. Finally we went to our IT service provider and had them work with our cyber security guy to implement the technology parts. Let me introduce you.”

If you need help preparing for your customers asking these questions or want to go through the process yourself, reach out and schedule a quick call to see if our process is right for you.  

Adam Anderson

Adam Anderson is the author of Built to Survive: A Business Person's Guide on How to Recover and Thrive After a Cyber Attack. Adam’s 15 years of entrepreneurial startup experience and his knowledge Enterprise Cyber Defense gives him a window into what’s wrong with communication between large and small companies. He combined this knowledge and the good works from the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Cyber Security Framework to co-author the book “Small Business Cyber Security”. This book was later turned into an online class by Clemson University. Adam has been active in peer advisory boards for small business CEOs. He took this experience and co-founded a peer advisory board for Chief Security Officers of fortune 500 companies. This mix of small and large businesses has positioned Adam as one of the few people in the world to understand the complete supply chain of cyber security.
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