It seems that every couple of weeks, we are faced with the news of a major data breach at a large company, whether that’s at T-Mobile, Microsoft, or Solarwinds. These reporting of events can feel sensational and frightening, but it also makes us think data breaches like this can only occur at the Fortune 500 level.
Research shows that is not the case. In fact, according to a report by SCORE, a non-profit organisation that supports small businesses, 43% of all cyber attacks in 2019 were conducted against small to medium firms.
Another study by Accountants Daily reported that small to medium accounting firms were increasingly becoming a target for cyber attacks due to their collection of their clients’ personal and financial information. Since SMEs tend to have smaller investments in data and cyber security, they have increasingly become the target of choice for cybercriminals looking to make a quick buck.
Data Security Due to Human Error
Within Accenture’s latest report on the cost of cyber crime in 2019, Accenture posits that when it comes to cyber defences, humans remain the weakest link in the system.
“Executives polled in the Accenture 2018 State of Cyber Resilience survey identified the accidental publication of confidential information by employees and insider attacks as having the greatest impact, second only to hacker attacks in successfully breaching their organizations.”
Considered some of the most common cyberattacks, malware and phishing attacks mainly rely on human error to infect company systems. Whether it’s accidentally clicking on a link from a seemingly personal email or downloading an unapproved app, these attacks take advantage of the human intermediary in a company to extract sensitive data such as personal and credit card information to siphon money. This claim is supported by McAfee, who found in their study that over 43% of breaches occurred due to internal actors; in Asia-Pacific, this number rises to 50%.
Effects of a Data Breach
Due to lower investments in data security and smaller balances, SMEs are reported to have a much lower resilience to cyberattacks. They often struggle to weather the cost of a data breach or face operational issues that hinders their ability to run properly. The US Securities Exchange Commission highlighted that in the event of a data breach “over 60% of SMEs shut down within 6 months” due to the severe financial impact it has on the business.
Automation as A Solution
Fortunately, an over-reliance on human error means that businesses can protect themselves by automating some of their intricate manual processes. Since accounting firms are a treasure trove of other company’s personal and financial information, it is important to invest in solutions that secure their data.
Tech integrations are the easiest and most cost efficient way around these tricky issues. Integration software like Bluesheets provide an easy solution to protect and provide a free flow of information amongst the multiple platforms firms utilize. With platforms like Bluesheets, complex and time consuming bookkeeping processes are taken out of the equation. Connecting and automating all your accounts together with top notch guaranteed protection can deliver a high level financial overview, in a matter of minutes. Automation and protection? Sounds like a match made in heaven.