Cyber Risks for the Professional Services Industry
The professional services space is becoming a huge target for cybercriminals. This article will review the various cyber risks for the professional services industry.
Cybersecurity is becoming increasingly important in the professional services industry as rising levels of digital activity make companies more vulnerable to malicious attacks. Remaining protected against such threats requires a robust security infrastructure, which provides users of professional services with the assurance that their data and communication are being kept safe at all times. Moreover, it helps protect against business disruption caused by cyberattack-related downtime and associated risks to customer relationships. Failure to invest in effective cybersecurity measures can have serious repercussions for an organization, including financial losses and legal action from affected customers. Therefore, companies must take proactive steps to ensure that comprehensive measures are put in place to protect their data and systems from external interference or theft.
Cybercriminals target professional services firms for several reasons:
All these factors make professional services firms an attractive target for cybercriminals looking to exploit vulnerabilities and gain access to valuable data.
Professional services firms struggle with many cybersecurity challenges including:
Attacking the supply chain of a professional services firm can be an effective way for cybercriminals to gain access to sensitive information and disrupt business operations. The supply chain refers to the network of suppliers, vendors, and partners that a company works with to provide goods and services. By targeting these third parties, cybercriminals can often gain access to the systems and networks of the professional services firm itself.
Here are a few reasons why cybercriminals target the supply chain of a professional services firm:
There are a couple cyber attacks on professional services firms worth noting:
The 2018 cyber attack on the global law firm DLA Piper affected the company’s systems worldwide, resulting in its infrastructure being shut down for several days. The attackers used a variant of the Petya ransomware to encrypt the firm’s systems and demanded a ransom to restore access to the data. The attack resulted in significant disruption to the firm’s business operations and highlighted the need for robust incident response plans and regular backups to minimize the impact of a ransomware attack.
The 2017 cyber attack on Deloitte, one of the world’s largest accounting firms, illuminated just how vulnerable businesses and organizations can be in a digital world. The attackers were able to gain access to Deloitte’s email platform and potentially sensitive client data by compromising the credentials of an administrator on the company’s Azure cloud platform. The attackers had access to the system for several months before being discovered.
Both attacks demonstrated that even large and well-established organizations with strong cybersecurity measures could be vulnerable to cyber attacks. They also highlighted the importance of securing cloud-based systems and the need for robust incident response plans and employee training.
Cybersecurity is crucial for professional services firms as they must continuously protect against data breaches, cyber attacks, and other security threats. These organizations often have valuable client data and confidential information, making them attractive targets for cybercriminals. Additionally, many professional services firms have many remote employees, increasing the potential for security breaches. The shift to remote work during the pandemic also made it more challenging for professional services firms to secure their networks and devices. As technology continues to advance and cyber threats become more sophisticated, professional services firms need to have robust cybersecurity measures in place, including employee training, incident response plans, and regular security assessments. By taking proactive steps to protect against cyber threats, professional services firms can safeguard their clients’ data, maintain their reputations, and ensure the continuity of their business operations.