Jan 26, 2018

Cyber attacks on SME’s often result in substantial financial loss. Some attacks can even close a business for good. This can include: – theft of corporate information, including accounting procedures – theft of bank details and payment cards – theft of money – loss of business or contracts – disruption to trading – loss of reputation as a secure business partner – erosion of trust with trading partners Less than half the businesses in the UK have protected themselves or made ‘crisis’ plans to deal with cyberattacks. Clever criminals have realised that not only does a business’s data have a value, but so too does threatening a company’s ability to function.  They often encrypt your own data, then charge you to get that same data back, and hackers can now use sophisticated software to disrupt company systems while demanding hefty ransom payments. Government figures show that cyberattacks in the UK doubled in 2015, and the UK now accounts for one in every eight known cyberattacks across Europe. So, the question becomes not ‘do you need advice and insurance against cyberattacks’? But which insurance package best suits your business? For the vast majority of SME’s, this means protecting against data breaches and ransomware. If the company holds personal data (see our GDPR blog), it is likely that the hackers will use that data to defraud and extort money, and costs to investigate a data breach are very expensive, even before factoring in third party claims. If the pending General Data Protection Regulations were not motivation enough to protect your business, the thought of loss of your accounting information and systems should be. GDPR comes in to force in May 2018, and gives clients and customers the right to ask for their personal data to be erased, increasing the expectations placed on businesses themselves. “Under GDPR, businesses must understand what personal data they hold and where,” said Partner, Paul Edwards, “and whether they have collected and processed that data properly, who they are sharing it with and who they are processing it for. “If your Accountant is not ready for GDPR, then in the event of a cyberattack, you and your business could be at risk. Firms holding your data must establish the extent of any data breach and report it within 72 hours,” said Paul Edwards. And it works both ways – could your business do this for your client base? If you would like to discuss the way Afford Bond looks after clients, please email or use the Contact Form here on our website. Afford Bond Chartered Accountants have offices in Nantwich, Wilmslow and Chester – our key competences are accounts, audit, taxation, payroll and corporate finance and we see constant overlap in the delivery of these services demonstrating the need for qualified and experienced advisors.

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