Bruce Sussman, CPA

Written by promotiondept

November 12, 2018

Bruce Sussman, CPA

‘We must adapt our defensive tools …’

Facing new cybersecurity challenges: The increing ubiquity and sophistication of malware is an enormous challenge. Antivirus software we knew it from five years ago is dead. CP in public practice and those in risk management positions need to work with clients to understand the la generation in fraud and intrusion detection tools and ex their benefit in nontechnical terms to the Csuite. If most malware is designed to ps through a conventional firewall or antivirus solution, we must adapt our defensive tools and use them in a more analytic, predictive mode. That is where a technologysavvy CPA h an advantage, because we are trained in the succinct presentation of complex ide.

Cybersecurity and opportunities for CP: CP can bring professional rigor, independence, and reporting to technical risk sessment and to problemsolving. Each time we apply our technical and soft skills to finding exposures in software and infrtructure used by the public, we are serving the public interest. So it’s more than simply ing an audit and delivering the report. These opportunities exist just in an IT audit, but also in risk advisory signments, working with public, municipal, and small to mediumsize clients who are outgunned when faced with malware, ransomware, and insider risks. The path exists for CP to develop skills in cybersecurity and provide services to clients. It can be found through IT surance services offered by public firms and internal audit departments. The natural progression is from public to private audit, to information security. Acquiring ITrelated credentials is a prerequisite. Usually, it takes five to eight years of solid experience. It’s also vital to network with other CPA security practitioners and security engineers, and from them.

Presenting information in the right way: We constantly strive to acquire and present the facts about risk management in a way that is compelling and crisp. To be successful, however, requires the right tone at the top. In each job I’ve had, there’s been the challenge of presenting the facts about risk—its magnitude, probability, mitigating factors, and business constraints. Once you show these factors are presented equally and without bi, it’s usually eier to gain acceptance for any risk treatment that you propose. Sometimes, it’s simple identifying the worstce loss scenario or regulatory consequence, and presenting thirdparty data to back up your sertion.

Cautionary tales: CPA firms need to be very eful in dealing with clients whose ft instinct when challenged is to escalate or parry a valid request for information. CPA firms should exercise extreme caution when management or their proxies limit scope, impede access to artifacts, or attt to intimidate an auditor with threats to bring in their attorneys.

told to Lea Hart (, a freelance writer in Durham, N.C.



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