Business decision-makers are becoming more and more aware of how important cyber security is to their clients and prospects.

  • 69% have been asked about their security posture in negotiations with prospects and suppliers
  • 71% worry that weak security could keep new clients away

Cyber security is becoming (if not already) a vital growth driver. How does this work?

Protecting our computers used to be as simple as getting antivirus software. However, the digital business landscape has drastically changed and is still changing.

Accounting firms now must deal with a slew of cyber threats and data breaches. Clients care about their data being safe. Hence, your cyber security measures must be sufficient and up-to-date.

Cyber security is no longer just a technical issue, but a business issue. When you take on measures to protect your data, your customers will feel they can trust you. Your target buyer will believe it when you say you care about them, boosting your business reputation.

As you reduce the risk of cyber-attacks on your organisation, you also demonstrate a commitment to cyber security. This improves client confidence in your accounting firm, keeping you ahead of your competitors.

Adopting a security-first approach can lead to increased customer retention and referrals. It also opens access to new markets and opportunities. By investing in cyber security, you protect your business and help to grow it.

There is no single key to business growth and security, but there is a combination of things you must do to unlock them. Here are some crucial actions you can take.

Protect Your Reputation by Investing in Security

Some look at cyber security as a necessary expense, not an investment that can help increase revenue. Still, 78% of Australian and New Zealand businesses had planned to increase their 2023 cyber security budget. Why?

One of the best ways to guard your image nowadays is by bolstering your cyber security. As there are always emerging threats or threat variants, cyber security should always be monitored and improved.

Cyber security is an investment with parallel ROI streams:

  • It lifts your brand image, protects your reputation, and increases customer trust.
  • It eases compliance with internal policies, contractual obligations, industry standards, and government regulations.
  • It reduces your risk of a security breach and all its associated costs.

When your business is seen as trustworthy, customer-focused, and forward-thinking, you can attract more prospects.

Keep Up-to-Date with Cyber Security

“If you think you know it all about cybersecurity, this discipline was probably ill-explained to you,” according to Stéphane Nappo, Global Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) of French consortium Groupe SEB.

Nobody knows everything in anything, especially in an ever-evolving cyber landscape. Your business needs to stay ahead of the curve, and here are some ways you can do that:

  • Follow reputable sources of tech trends, cyber security news, blogs, and podcasts.
  • Subscribe to newsletters or alerts from cybersecurity organisations or vendors.
  • Join online communities or forums where cyber security professionals converge and share their insights.
  • Take courses or certifications to learn new skills or update existing ones.
  • Attend webinars or events related to cybersecurity topics or trends.

Remember this principle that can apply to cyber warfare: If you know your enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. (Sun Tzu, The Art of War)

Never Stop Training Your Staff

It’s been said and written over and over: Train your entire organisation in cyber security. Why? Because human error remains the leading cause of security breaches.

Make your staff your first line of defence against cyber threats. Help them become aware of the risks and teach them best protection practices. Create a continuing cyber awareness program (not just a one-time or annual event) and integrate it into your culture.

Here are some tips to make cybersecurity training work for your business:

  • Make it relevant: Use real-life examples and scenarios that relate to the accounting industry, your firm’s goals, and staff roles. Show how cyber-attacks can affect them personally and professionally. Explain how they can prevent or respond to them in ways your staff can relate to.
  • Make it interactive: Use interactive methods like quizzes, games, and simulations to train your staff and test their knowledge and skills. Encourage them to ask questions, share feedback, and learn from each other. Reward them for their participation and improvement.
  • Make it continuous: Cyber security is not static, but it evolves constantly. You need to update your training regularly to keep up with the changes and refresh your staff’s memory. You can also use newsletters, posters, webinars, or other communication channels to reinforce the key messages and tips.

Cyber security can be one of your best growth drivers. How can you reap the benefits of an effective cyber protection solution and eventually see the returns?

  • Protect your reputation by investing in security
  • Keep up-to-date in cyber security
  • Never stop training your staff

Download our eBook, Cyber-Attacks on Accounting Firms: How to Protect Your Business & Your Reputation, for a deep dive into the Australian cyber security landscape, strategies and best practices for accounting firms, illustrated by real-life examples.

The important thing is to take action today!