Consultancy Sector

Security challenges facing the consultancy sector

  • Data is king

  • Breaches damage client trust

  • The client’s financial information

  • Leaks of sensitive data

  • The risk of legal malpractice allegations due to poor cyber-security

  • Consulting firms are lagging behind in keeping up with the digital transformation

 

 

Data is king

Whether it is proprietary strategic information, valuable IP, or market-moving financial data, the end result is the same – cyber adversaries of all shapes and sizes have woken up and realized they stand to profit from relieving consulting firms of their data.

 

Breaches damage client trust

Unlike most business risks, this increasing cyber threat has the potential to produce a company-ending event. Professional services practices are fundamentally built upon client trust, and consulting firm partners regularly tell us that any substantial loss of client data due to a cyber breach would have a devastating effect on future business.

 

The client’s financial information

Accountancy firms are facing virtually the same cyber threats as any other business. They are subject to some key fundamental security requirements; the first is ensuring the integrity of their own internal cyber-security posture in order to look after their own and their clients’ data. Secondly, ensuring that they are able to offer their clients a level of insight into their abilities to prevent cyber attacks and cyber fraud through auditing.

 

Accountancy firms are at particular risk of cyber attacks due to the high level of confidential data and valuable financial information they hold. Cyber-criminals can gain direct access to clients’ bank accounts and transaction processes and more than often, face poor security defenses – a low effort for a very high reward. Criminals may also view them as part of a supply chain to a ‘company of interest’, thus a vector for an attack.

 

Leaks of sensitive data

It is no secret that law firms possess some of the most confidential and sensitive client information. When handling data of this nature, it is important to ensure the appropriate security measures are in place. Although some lawyers use cloud storage services such as Dropbox, the majority of the legal profession communicates using email. Email communications are vulnerable to scams such as phishing.

 

The risk of legal malpractice allegations due to poor cybersecurity

Regardless of whether these files are stored in a digital manner in the cloud and/or on-site in tangible filing cabinets, the data must be kept secure at all times.  If clients are unhappy with the manner in which their data is stored and protected, they can file a legal malpractice suit even if there is no breach.

 

Consulting firms are lagging behind in keeping up with the digital transformation

When it comes to the consulting industry, we find ourselves in front of a rather peculiar phenomenon: while consultants keep telling their clients to invest in digital transformation, their own firms are lagging behind in keeping up with the digital transformation.

Sources:

PreVeil  I  ICAEW (The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales)  I  Lawpath.com  I  Rekall Technologies  I  Zigurat Global Institute of Technology