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Finance workers ignoring cyber security threats

Member: Nifa

Recent research has found that finance workers are most likely to circumvent their company’s cyber security protection, with 35 per cent of those polled indicating they “don’t fully understand” what constitutes an online security risk. In fact, the finance industry is also the one most at risk from attacks, with one in four businesses becoming the victims of cyber crime last year alone. In addition, one in four executives polled admitted to knowingly having exposed their company to potential threats. 

Meanwhile, separate research has found that cyber security experts are in such high demand that they can command rates of more than £10,000 a day, which must mean that at least some firms understand the importance of this work. Some but not all, apparently, as the findings coincided with a finance industry body warning that companies were failing to recognise cyber crime as a business risk. 

When a firm is reviewing its systems, they often call in forensic accountants to ensure that no cash is ‘leaking’ and that everything possible is being done to ensure the health of the business.  However, these experts increasingly look at other security aspects, as anything that could jeopardise the long-term profitability of the firm – which could be reputationally as well as financially – must be addressed. Now, after reviewing their clients' approach to cyber security, many auditors believe that the industry can no longer brush it aside and treat it as a problem related to the IT function only.

Author: Roger Isaacs, 14 December 2015

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