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Why an Accounting Firm Should Handle Your Cybersecurity

It has been just about 6 months since the Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued cybersecurity guidance for plan sponsors, plan fiduciaries, record keepers and plan participants. The question remains - where to start and how to implement the high-level recommendations to improve your Plan's or Union's cybersecurity environment?

So where does your organization start? The obvious choice might be to find a cybersecurity firm with the ability to implement new policies and procedures in line with the DOL’s recommendations. They are typically experts in their field and work with a wide range of clients. However, due to the unique nature of Employee Benefit Plans and Unions, we encourage you to not look past your audit firm.

Auditors specialize in establishing controls designed to protect your resources – cybersecurity is an extension of this same concept applied to electronic environments.  Your auditor understands your resources and how your operation works which creates a strategic advantage in assessing your cyber needs and designing a solution that works conceptually and practically.  Here are a few other reasons:


At Withum, we understand that expertise is needed in cybersecurity as well as the complexities of your business to meet your current and future security needs.  That is why we have built a cybersecurity team of highly diversified and trusted members from various backgrounds across the globe. Learn more about our Cyber and Information security Team here.

Additionally, with cybersecurity the unfortunate reality is that it’s not if an attack will happen it’s when. Withum is fully equipped with Cybersecurity Experts, Lawyers and CPAs to help navigate your organization through recovery.


Next, implementing the DOL’s new tips and best practices shouldn’t hinder your ability to do business. Our Cybersecurity Team works closely with Tax, Audit and Advisory Partners to understand your business intrinsically before implementing a tailored plan. For example, the DOL guidance is specific to Employee Benefit Plans but can also be applied to Labor Unions. As a result, our Cyber Team will work closely with our ERISA and Labor Union niche experts to understand the ins and outs of your overall operations prior to implementing a plan.

It is imperative that your Cybersecurity not only protects your Plan, but also allows your Plan to continue to best service your participants and members.


Lastly, your Plan or Union’s Cybersecurity needs are going to be ever changing. New standards might be released by the DOL or new challenges may arise as your Plan or Union continues operations for years to come. At Withum, we are prepared to adapt and tailor services to your organization’s changing needs. Whether it be IT Managed Services, Security Solutions, or Incident Response, Withum has your covered from point-to-point.

Cybersecurity can be daunting, especially due to the current remote work environment which only increases the potential risk. However, the end goal of the DOL’s advice is not to scare, but rather to aid in protecting your Plan or Union in its mission of best serving participants, beneficiaries, and members. Our goal at Withum is to aid in fulfilling that mission. Reach out to the Withum Leadership Team and start the conversation about enhancing your cybersecurity systems with the new DOL tips and best practices and reducing your risk.

Author: Sarah McDonald, CPA | smcdonald@withum.com

Contact us to find out how Withum’ Cyber team can help address your further questions.

IT and Cybersecurity Consulting Services

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