Issue 10

Mitigating risk and making data security a top priority

As technology evolves and becomes more sophisticated, so too do viruses, malware and hackers, and their means to violate protective barriers in order to infiltrate sensitive data and information.

According to PwC’s 2016 Global Economic Crime report, cyber crime affect almost one in three organisations (32%), with the financial services industry the ‘most threatened’ by economic crime. As accountancy practices handle sensitive personal and financial data for their customers, the ramifications of a hack can be devastating, resulting in identity theft, loss of intellectual property, and irrevocable damage to brand reputation. In fact, a single incident can cost a small business upwards of £75,000 in terms of lost revenue, recovery of assets and fines. With that in mind, accountancy practices must adopt a risk-averse mindset, making data security a top priority for their business and their clients. But where to start? And how to sustain change for the long term?

A cultural shift

When considering a long term security strategy, start by evaluating your people and processes. Despite the perception that the majority of threats stem from outside an organisation, risk can be found much closer to home.

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About the author

Brendan Woods, founder and CEO of OCREX - the company that developed AutoEntry

Originally a software developer in the hedge fund space, he quit his job and started AutoEntry. AutoEntry supplies to over 2000 accounting firms and automates data entry of purchase and sales invoices, receipts, bank statements and more, providing significant time and cost savings.