When it comes to cybercrime, the separation is in the preparation

Posted on Jan 22, 2015

By Pete Miller, CPA, CFE

Cybercrime is a growing concern for businesses and individuals alike. Breaches like those experienced at Target and Home Depot are wide spread and very costly. However, the costs go well beyond the onset of bad publicity and often include significant costs to:

  • Identify the affected customers
  • Communicate the breach to affected customers
  • Monitor the credit report for affected individuals
  • Remedy the breach and prevent future incidents, and so on.

You may have a number in your head for what you think it may cost to recover from an incident like this. What if you had to add a 0 to it? What would you do then?

Cybercrime has gotten to be so pervasive and impactful to those affected. It seems that everywhere you turn, you hear about something new. A lot of the stories I read cover the scheme, how it happened, how it was discovered, and the aftermath, but they stop right there. I have been looking for articles with some good lessons to take away, and these articles featured in the CGMA and the New York Times are helpful in that regard. They provide some good habits to begin (or continue). The article from CGMA even breaks down common cyber concerns into industry-specific segments.

Like most things in this life, you’ll be a step ahead if you are well prepared. To quote someone from my hometown football team, “the separation is in the preparation.” If you feel you are at risk for cyber attacks, have an assessment done. Understand your shortcomings and then remedy them. Follow the recommendations from the assessment, install and stay current with security patches, and back up your files. Backing up your files doesn’t prevent an attack from happening, but if you are disciplined enough to do it you can significantly limit the damage inflicted on your business and the related down time. You can even find an insurance policy for cyber attacks as well. Given the amount of damages attacks like these tend to bring, the cost of an insurance policy can be well worth it.

Get to know your cyber profile and the related risks of your business. Preventive measures are definitely the name of the game in cases like these. You can start making a difference today and prevent an event from impacting you and your businesses.

© Clark Nuber PS and Focus on Fraud, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Clark Nuber PS and Focus on Fraud with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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This article or blog contains general information only and should not be construed as accounting, business, financial, investment, legal, tax, or other professional advice or services. Before making any decision or taking any action, you should engage a qualified professional advisor.

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