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ICAEW to launch City-wide cyber security taskforce to raise awareness of cyber risks in deals and investment

Author: ICAEW

Published: 31 Jan 2024

A City-wide taskforce charged with helping businesses understand and manage cyber security risks during corporate finance transactions will be unveiled in London later this morning.

The initiative is led by ICAEW in collaboration with the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and 12 other organisations involved in deal making, investment and cyber security. Guidance for businesses on the threats posed by cyber-crime will also be launched at an event hosted by the Institute’s Corporate Finance Faculty in London this morning.

The guidance, titled Cyber Security in Corporate Finance, will advise companies on how to mitigate against cyber-attacks during corporate finance transactions; protect commercially sensitive data exchanged during the deal process; and provide information on types of cyber risks and how to respond to cyber breaches.

Alongside ICAEW and the NCSC, the taskforce comprises of representatives from Association of Corporate Treasurers, BDO, British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association, Deloitte, EY, Grant Thornton, KPMG, the Law Society, London Stock Exchange, PwC, the Takeover Panel and UK Finance.

The launch event will feature a wide range of speakers, including Andrew Rogan, Director for Operational Resilience, UK Finance; Ian Jeffery, Chief Executive Officer at The Law Society; and Ros Gray, Assistant Director General, The Takeover Panel. ICAEW President Mark Rhys and Chief Executive Michael Izza will also speak at the event.

Michael Izza, ICAEW Chief Executive, said:

“Corporate finance transactions are a critical part of the economy but the flow of sensitive information and data during a deal can leave a business vulnerable to cyber security breaches. This new guidance and taskforce will be key in helping to raise awareness and minimise the risks posed by cyber criminals.

“A cyber-attack could have a potentially disastrous impact on the dealmaking process, and so it is crucial that boardrooms across the country treat threats very seriously and take preventative action.

“We must do all that we can to ensure London remains a pre-eminent place to do deals, raise investment and generate growth.”

Sarah Lyons, NCSC Deputy Director for Economy and Society, said: 

“We know the sensitive information that the accounting sector often manages, whether it is financial records, risk analysis or external audits, can make Chartered Accountants attractive targets for cyber criminals.

“A breach in this sector can not only jeopardise organisations and their customers, but can also undermine trust, confidence and reputation.

“I’d encourage everyone from across the industry to engage with this report and the NCSC’s range of practical guidance, to help increase their cyber resilience.”

Ian Jeffery, Chief Executive Officer, The Law Society, said:

“Legal advisers handling sensitive data and information must continue to stay vigilant against changing cyber risks. 

“We are pleased to contribute to guidance from the ICAEW which will help law firms and lawyers involved in corporate finance transactions to protect against the increasing threat of cyberattacks.”


Notes to editors: 

CONTACT: ICAEW media office tom.mackintosh@icaew.com or 07866 853841