Cyber Criminals Love CPAs

Cyber Criminals are an awful like business people.  They are focused on creating the most value out of their efforts.  As such, they attack the markets that have the most value for them.

A study in March of 2016 by Carolyn Sun, Entrepreneur Magazine outlined the 15 top SMB revenue generators, aka the kinds of small businesses with all the cash.  Congratulations Accounting, Tax Preparation, Bookkeeping and Payroll Services!  You are number one with 18.4% of all revenue!

This means that you are a very appealing target for Cyber Crime.  Accountants hold vast amounts of their customer’s personal data, they have the information about how their customers pay their taxes and where those refunds should go, and they rely on software and the internet for most of their work.

So what are the Cyber Criminals doing with this knowlege?  I’m glad you asked.  Forbes has the list of the top 5 industries targeted.

The 5 most cyber-attacked industries in 2015:

  1. Healthcare

  2. Manufacturing

  3. Financial Services

  4. Government

  5. Transportation

The finial data point that sends a clear warning to CPAs and other financial services companies comes in the form of the preferred target for cyber criminals, Small Business (SMB).   70% of all cyber crime is directed towards the SMB market.

To sum up:

  1. CPAs generate the most revenue of all small businesses.  

  2. The Financial Services market is #3 in number of attacks.

  3. Cyber Criminals know that CPAs are traditionally very bad at security and target the SMB market for easy wins.

So if you’re a Business Owner who runs an Accounting Firm and you haven’t had a cyber security audit for your company in the last 12 months, you need to put that on the top of your list.

Need help with the next step?  Contact me for a free 30 min chat.

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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