KPMG US Chair and CEO Paul Knop revealed that one of the biggest focus areas for the global accounting firm in 2022 is cybersecurity.
Speaking on which roles within the company are currently in high demand, Knop stated that tech and data skills were key to building a stronger, more resilient workforce, and that as the digital roles in business structures are increasingly connected, the impact and risk of cybersecurity attacks are bigger than ever.
It's a message that has been repeated time and time again by major corporations, as we see more and more of them fall foul of hacks. In this article we offer a few solutions of our own, for the security conscious.
KPMG's Security Warning to Businesses
KPMG CEO Paul Knop confirmed that one of the biggest focuses of the accounting giant is security, in an interview with Business Insider.
“There's a huge demand for cyber that's not going to go away [and] It's been made even made stronger by the threats around cybercrime coming out of what's happening in Easter Europe with the Russia-Ukraine crisis.” – KPMG CEO Paul Knop
This shouldn't come as a surprise. According to a report on the state of cybersecurity in 2021, cyber security attacks increased by 31% between 2020 and 2021 alone. And, according to more data, those numbers keep rising.
In 2021, cybercrime attacks increased by up to 600% resulting in huge financial loss and brand trust for a significant number of businesses, and at that time, even the government started to notice.
Biden’s executive order on cybersecurity in 2021 highlighted just how seriously businesses should be taking cybersecurity. Plus, with an average of 26,000 cyber security attacks recorded daily, and the cost of cybercrime predicted to hit $10.5 trillion by 2025, it’s obvious that the more layers of security you have in place to protect your business, the better.
How to Protect Your Business Against Cyber Attacks
Successful businesses, like KPMG, have a strategy in place to protect their business. And, investing in good accounting software, talented teams, and antivirus software will, in no doubt, play a part. But, if your business is on the smaller side and you have limited funds, there are still a few things that you can do to mitigate risks.
1. Train your employees on cybersecurity
According to Verizon, 85% of security breaches in 2021 were caused by human error, but 80% of cyber-attacks could be prevented by better practices, says Cyber Observer. Investing in good cybersecurity training is one of the most effective, preventative cybersecurity strategies.
Implementing strict password practices, guidelines, and risk management policies is an easy way to minimize system breaches, phishing attacks, and serious threats. Good password practices, such as implementing a Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) tool or using a reliable password manager will also help your business to minimize security breaches when your team is out of officer or working remotely. They’re also generally affordable, at $25-40 annually, and can make a significant difference in preventing ransomware attacks, which accounted for 82% of attacks on small businesses.
2. Ensure your software is up to date
Outdated software is a magnet for malware and breaches, but automatically updating your software can help your business to prevent that. 70% of cyber-attacks in 2021 were caused by known vulnerabilities, and updating your software is the best way to protect against them. Some businesses will have a department that handles this, but if you don’t yet, this is a good tip to add to your arsenal.
3. Invest in good antivirus software
Not all antivirus software is equal, and there are plenty of antivirus software solutions on the market. What’s important is that you find the right malware protection for your needs. We researched the best antivirus software for business to help narrow things down, or you could just decide between Norton and Mcafee, which are both really popular options. These solutions aren't prohibitively expensive, either, but being without them could prove to be.