Two leading UK accounting and security bodies, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) and the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), are spearheading a collaborative effort with 12 other organizations to launch a taskforce dedicated to enhancing the security of corporate finance deals. The initiative, encompassing representatives from banking, law, consulting, and more, aims to publish new guidance advising companies on mitigating cyber risks during corporate finance transactions, including M&A deals, fundraising, and IPOs. The Cyber Security in Corporate Finance taskforce will provide crucial insights on building resilience against cyber-attacks, protecting commercially sensitive data, and responding to breaches.
ICAEW CEO Michael Izza emphasizes the importance of taking preventive action against cyber threats during the dealmaking process, stating that a cyber-attack could have disastrous consequences. The taskforce, comprising entities like Deloitte, EY, and the London Stock Exchange, recognizes the vulnerability of sensitive information exchanged during financial transactions and aims to equip boardrooms with tools to treat threats seriously. NCSC Deputy Director for Economy and Society, Sarah Lyons, notes that chartered accountants are increasingly attractive targets for threat actors due to their handling of sensitive financial and risk data. She underscores the broader implications of breaches in this sector, emphasizing the potential impact on organizations, customers, and the erosion of trust and reputation.
The collaborative effort seeks to ensure London remains a pre-eminent hub for deals and investments, emphasizing the critical role of cyber resilience in safeguarding business growth. The taskforce’s guidance is expected to cover various aspects, including strategies to protect against cyber-attacks, secure data exchanges, and effectively respond to breaches. The engagement of industry stakeholders is encouraged to leverage the insights provided by the taskforce and the NCSC’s practical guidance, ultimately contributing to the enhancement of cyber resilience across the sector.