Your clients are operating in an expanding asymmetric threat environment. Risks to any organization's confidential information are increasing and the losses now exceed the amount of money that is made by the world's illegal drug trade. Cybercrime is hard to detect. It's a very low-risk and high pay-off category of criminal activity. Plus, it's very hard to prosecute.
Cyber criminals are constantly trying to steal, alter or damage confidential information. Illicit hackers and crackers are dedicated to discovering vulnerabilities and exploiting them. When they discover a pathway into an organization's digital assets, nefarious users can steal identifies, open false charge accounts, make purchases, gain access to financial resources or commit worse.
Organizations that have had their digital security breached can face liability lawsuits, suffer the loss of business, or have their reputations damaged. In the case of some states your clients and customers can even suffer fines.
Accountants, insurance agents, management consultants or even bankers can provide value-added service to their commercial clients. How? Advising clients how to create and implement a solid information assurance plan is one way. Doing so can block cyber attacks on a client's mission critical information. Insurance agents, for example, can show clients how to implement a strategy while showing them how to transfer risk.
You can offer professional advice on how to protect against cybercrime. Your clients will likely find your professional advice and counsel invaluable, giving you the opportunity to forge stronger customer relations and helping them to protect mission critical information. It's truly a win-win situation for everyone.
So how can your clients create an information assurance plan that is designed to protect critical information?
Identify - The first thing that can be done is to identify each one of an organization's information assets. Each should be classified as to its level of importance. The security plan that is eventually developed for the company would contain objectives and procedures for implementing security best practices.
Analyze - Your clients need to conduct a risk analysis. The study should examine the vulnerabilities and potential threats against the information assets that are identified. A plan needs to be written that protects mission-critical information. Such a plan must treat information assurance as a business process like accounting, personnel, finance and manufacturing.
Implement - The plan must include policies and procedures that identify responsibilities for each individual in the organization. The plan should promote the confidentiality and integrity of information assets. Business continuity would be a key element and prescribe what steps to be taken in the event of a cyber attack. An intrusion detection plan, physical security and information security awareness training should be put in place for all employees.
Additional components of a strong information security plan should be auditing, backup, and disaster recovery and the transference of risk that would involve cybercrime insurance.