Tax Time Is Crime Time  

Getting ready for tax time Australia

As June begins, it means only one thing – tax time for Australia is rapidly approaching! 

With the June 30 deadline, the onslaught of tax season becomes a headache for most accountants, and a time where cybersecurity falls to the very bottom of the to-do list. 

But this is the time when you should be more vigilant than ever – after all, tax time is when the criminals come out to play 


Key statistics to keep in mind  

When it comes to cybercrime, there are a lot of statistics out there designed to shock and scare you – but here are the top 4 statistics you need to know.  

  • In 2022, 94% of all tax filings were done digitally  
  • The average cost of a cyberattack on a business was between $49,000 and $97,000 
  • A single breach of your firm may cause significant reputational damage and may even end up destroying the practice  
  • Not complying with government regulations around privacy and security can lead to large fines of over $50 million depending on the seriousness of the breach  


Why you should be thinking about cybersecurity now  

You may be thinking, why would I be thinking about cybersecurity right now? I am about to go into the busiest season of the year.  

But that is exactly why cyber security should be at the top of your agenda right now.  

It is your busiest time of year; it is also when you are the most stressed and have the most amount of sensitive data flowing through your business – criminals are hoping you are stressed and distracted so they can get into your firms and steal what they need.  

You may also be thinking, but I am just a small firm, why would they bother targeting me?  

It is because you are a small firm they want to target you – the criminals assume you will not have any protection in place or minimal protection. They will try and take advantage of this for their own gain, after all it is much more profitable to target a bunch of small firms and get small amounts than even attempt to breach a larger firm who has dedicated cybersecurity staff to protect it.  


Steps you need to take to protect your firm  

It is overwhelming when thinking about cybersecurity, after all you are an accountant not a cyber expert. This is why you should be working with a cybersecurity expert who specialises in cybersecurity for accounting firms.  

To get started with your cybersecurity journey there are a few key things you need to think about: 

  1. Do you have advanced anti-virus protection on all devices?
    Advanced anti-virus includes many core aspects such as sandboxing, AI-driven flagging, all done with manual oversight and monitoring by your cyber-provider 
  2. Do your emails have advanced scam and spam protection?
    This includes more advanced oversight and email monitoring focusing on ensuring malware and other threats do not make it into your inbox. 
  3. How do you manage access to the various platforms and applications you use? 
    Access is vital here because it is access that most criminals are trying to get. How you store, manage and access credentials is key, but also creating vital audit trails and other protections around access is always a key consideration.  
  4. Have you got a managed-for you compliance plan around your cybersecurity? 
    Trust is key for accountants, and with the number of high-profile breaches occurring it is only a matter of time before the government enacts legislation around cybersecurity and you need a partner who can help you stay compliant with current and future legislation around privacy and breaches.  
  5. Do you provide cybersecurity training for all staff members? 
    The best way to stop an attack is to arm your staff with knowledge about how they can be targeted by criminals, providing regular on demand training is key.  

If you answered no, or were unsure, we would encourage you to make time with one of our cybersecurity consultants to audit what protection you have in place 

The above 5 elements are key steps you need to take to protect your firm. They form the foundational plan needed to secure and protect your client’s data. Getting started on your cyber journey may seem scary or overwhelming, but when you partner with experts within the field it is something you can hand over and put on autopilot as your partner takes steps to keep you protected, safe and secure.  


Getting started on your cyber security journey 

Getting started on your cybersecurity journey is not some long burdensome process that takes months. In fact, with our platform, firms can be fully onboarded in as little as 2 – 3 weeks. It doesn’t have to be a time-intensive costly exercise at all.  

Looking to get your cybersecurity sorted? Book in a time to chat with our team