As technology advances, so do the threats in the digital world. Thus, Nigerian finance teams are exposed to a growing number of cybersecurity challenges in 2023. With the increasing reliance on digital platforms and remote work setups, the need for robust cybersecurity measures has never been more critical.
In this article, we will explore five cybersecurity threats that finance professionals like yourself should be aware of in 2023 and strategies to safeguard your financial operations.
Ransomware attacks have been a pervasive threat in recent years and they are expected to continue beyond 2023. Cybercriminals use ransomware to encrypt a company's financial data and demand a ransom for its release and Nigerian businesses, both large and small, have fallen victim to these attacks.
To combat ransomware, regularly back up your company’s financial data, educate your finance and accounting teams about phishing attempts, and if they haven’t already, ask that your company invests in robust security solutions to detect and mitigate threats in real-time.
Cybercriminals often trick finance professionals into revealing sensitive information or clicking on malicious links. Learning to recognize and avoid phishing attempts is the first step to preventing prevalent malicious attacks.
As a finance professional, you have to make sure you and your team know what a phishing attempt looks like and report it accordingly. For instance, you get an email that looks like it is from a coworker asking you to approve a payment to an unusual account or you get an “urgent email” from someone who is pretending to be your CEO asking you to transfer funds to an external account because he is stranded in a foreign city. Measures like implementing multi-factor authentication (MFA) and regularly updating security policies can enhance protection against social engineering attacks.
Insider threats involve current or former employees with malicious intentions or those who accidentally compromise data security. Overall, your organization should enforce strict financial access controls, regularly review user privileges, and monitor employee activities within their network.
However, as an accountant or finance professional, if you notice unusual financial behavior on the backend by internal staff or consultants, proactively alert your supervisor or halt all financial transactions from that account until you can ascertain the issue. Also, ensure you update access to company software and hardware when an employee leaves your finance team to avoid cybersecurity threats.
Your finance team, like many financial enterprises, may currently rely on third-party vendors and suppliers for various services and products. Cybercriminals often target the supply chain to gain access to sensitive financial data or disrupt operations. If you normally automate your payment to a supplier and they update their payment details, make sure you follow up with them to further verify that there is no foul play.
Frequently assess the cybersecurity posture of your supply chain partners and ensure they have strong security measures in place. Regularly auditing and updating vendor contracts to include cybersecurity requirements can also help safeguard your financial data.
Nigeria's data protection regulations are evolving, with the Nigerian Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) in place to protect individuals' personal data. As finance professionals, compliance with these regulations is important to avoid legal consequences and reputational damage to your career and business at large. It is crucial to conduct regular financial data audits, collaborate with a data protection officer, and implement data protection impact assessments (DPIAs) to adhere to the NDPR.
Cybersecurity threats may pose a significant risk to the financial aspect of your business but by staying vigilant and proactive you can protect sensitive financial data, maintain business continuity, and preserve trust among customers and partners. Remember that cybersecurity is an ongoing effort, and continuous monitoring and adaptation are key to staying ahead of evolving threats.
Softwares like Duplo not only help you automate your financial operations for ease of business but also protect your financial data fiercely to avoid any chance of compromise or fraud. On Duplo, security measures like 2-FA, notifications of unusual activity, and efficient access and permission controls ensure that your financial operations are seamless and safe.
Reach out to us to learn more about how we can help you streamline your financial operations and protect your financial data.
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