Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) hosted a session on cyber security in Karachi. The session brought together a panel of lawyers, IT specialists, and finance professionals to disseminate information on how businesses that are victims of cyber crime can seek protection from being sued by customers.
Amongst the panelists were Arif Masud Mirza Head of Policy MENASA, ACCA; Barrister Zahid Jamil, Senior Partner at Jamil and Jamil; Muhammad Azam Mughal, CEO & Chief Consultant InfoSec; Muhammad Junaid Shekha, CEO at IT Minds; Haider Patel, Partner Tax at Ernst and Young.
Haider Patel, Partner Tax at Ernst and Young being one of the panelists highlighted, “As digitalization goes on revolutionizing our lives the threat from Cybercrimes grows at a faster pace. For this we need to understand the nature of possibilities of cybercrime in our surroundings, assess and mitigate existing and emerging risks, Implement and maintain strong data privacy/security controls and policies constant education of users within an organization and finally make IT risk a board level concern in the corporate world.”
Speaking at the event, Arif Masud Mirza commented: “The sensitive customer information including their coded or encrypted payment device details could be open to theft and criminal access by those with the knowhow to break into these digital treasure troves. Indeed not only the customer information but also business accounts or the financial system itself presents a tempting prize to the opportunist cybercriminals. Businesses must understand their potential liability from loss of customer information that finds its way to cybercriminals and the damages of financial loss and non-financial loss arising to the customers from the breach.”
ACCA acknowledges the fact that a lot has been said and written about cybersecurity but the subject seems to have been hijacked by bloggers or those simply preoccupied with protection of freedom of expression, no doubt a worthy cause, but not relevant to the business world that must understand the risks that present themselves from cybercrime. This congregation of panelists convened to help businesses understand their potential liability from (a) loss of customer information that finds its way in both ethical and more likely unethical cybercriminals and (b) the damages of financial loss and non-financial loss arising to the customers from the breach. At the event measures were discussed to mitigate the risks.
Muhammad Azam Mughal, CEO & Chief Consultant InfoSec | SecureBeans also a panelist highlighted, “I understand the data residency, regulation & security obstacles, but the move to Cloud is inevitable and we need to embrace this as an extension of our network sooner than later.”
Also present at the session was Muhammad Junaid Shekha, CEO at IT Minds who stated that, “CEOs are worried, boards are asking tough questions, investors are uneasy, and customers are increasingly concerned with the safety of their information – Cyber Security is emerging as a big risk to the business.”
Assad Hameed Khan, Head of South ACCA, stated at the event, “In an age of unprecedented business transformation, cyberspace advantage is the new Brand for businesses; requiring safeguards as any other Brand element. Thinking Ahead! would help crucial cognisance of this business element in the futuristic cyber age.”