Northeast Chapter

CPAFMA Helps Its Members to Manage Cybersecurity

Published December 22, 2015
New Program Makes It Easier For Accounting Firms To Hone Their Cybersecurity Skills

CPAFMA has announced a partnership with cybersecurity expert Neal O’Farrell, founder of security education company Privide, to provide comprehensive cybersecurity education to its members throughout North America. With growing concerns that accounting and financial advisory firms are being actively targeted by hackers in search of client data, there’s never been a greater urgency to ensure accountants and their staff are aware of the risks, how to minimize them, and how to respond.

With an estimated 1,000 reported data breaches in the U.S. in 2014 alone, or nearly three every 24 hours, nearly a billion personal records were stolen by hackers. It’s only a matter of time before every firm finds itself a target.

Every firm manager has two major security challenges to confront daily – protecting their business (practice) from cyber threats, and guarding their clients and client data. Continuous education is the first and best defense and we’re proud to take a global lead in bringing this message to our members and their clients.

As part of the initiative, CPAFMA members will have access to more than 5 hours of online cybersecurity education, broken down into short, easy take lessons of approximately 25 minutes each.

Members will be able to learn about major threats including data breaches, malware, phishing and identity theft, as well as how to create a simple but comprehensive cybersecurity strategy that will work for even the smallest firm.

To support the education, members will also be able to subscribe to a free email alert service for information on the latest threats and technologies, and participate in a private forum where they can learn about security from their peers and from security experts.

 “I applaud CPAFMA’s leadership on cybersecurity. While many in the accounting profession still see cybersecurity as an afterthought, BKR was one of the first groups to recognize that cybersecurity must be made a top priority if firms are to maintain client trust on issues like security, privacy, and data protection,” said Neal O’Farrell. 

For those interested in learning more about Cybersecurity, Mr. O’Farrell will be a featured speaker at the 2016 National Practice Management Conference in Baltimore, June 27-30.