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Message from the CEO

Cybersecurity

We have always felt that reading the business news can help teach us both what makes other individuals and organizations successful and give us early warnings about challenges that we may face ourselves.

Over the past few months, the seemingly endless news about major data breaches and cybersecurity hacks has served as the latter for many of us. It is clear that this new era of cyberattacks is our new normal and that the consequences they present are no longer just “IT problems,” but have become true business problems. This environment and what caused it, and how resulting issues have been handled, present important business lessons.

Cybersecurity is an issue that every individual and every business and organization — no matter the size — must address. In other words, it’s prudent to think in terms of “when” rather than “if” you will be targeted or affected.

The good news is that we are not helpless, but we do need to take action. You can mitigate risk both on your own and with the help of service providers (including EKS&H’s Business Technology Solutions group) to increase protection and minimize the potential impact. Fundamental actions include updating patches, following password best practices, saving backups, conducting assessments and penetration tests, and knowing and following security compliance requirements.

Your preparation for an attack must include a documented plan for when, who, and how you respond. Business continuity, system restoration processes, and communication with regulatory agencies, investors, customers, and the public are defined in this plan. These issues won’t just go away, and delays in reacting are never in your best interest.

Keep in mind that one of the most important elements in guarding your data is your people. Most attacks involve some human error. Employee education is essential.

Each organization, company, and industry is unique, but all should take this threat seriously and develop or strengthen a robust and comprehensive cybersecurity strategy.

Another business issue we are watching is tax reform. Proposals from the White House and Congress look promising for businesses, but as of this writing no major reforms have been passed. Be confident that EKS&H will be closely monitoring changes and discussing them and their implications with our tax clients.

Finally, we are pleased to announce that our growth has enabled us to create opportunities for several employees, including our two newest partners, Josh Billiard, CPA, CCIFP, and Drew Mattox, CPA. Josh offers deep knowledge in audit services for the construction, manufacturing, and distribution industries. Drew serves the strategic tax needs of privately held companies in the auto dealer industry and others. They have positively contributed to our clients’ and our firm’s growth. We encourage readers to get to know these talented professionals and offer them congratulations on this well-earned advancement.

Wishing you a wonderful fall!

Sincerely,

Bob Hottman