A cyberattack at accounting firm Wolters Kluwer that left its accountant clients unable to access a portal necessary to do their jobs has angered many in the industry, according to reports from Canadian Accountant.
The publication said on Sunday (May 19) that Canadian accountants are sounding off against the accountancy firm, not so much because it was hit by a cyberattack, but because of what they say was a lack of communication in the aftermath.
“The primary and most frustrating issue I think we had with the whole issue was a lack of communication from CCH [Wolters Kluwer’s tax division] as to what was happening and when it might be fixed,” said one unnamed company in an interview with the publication. “We received nothing from CCH.”
“They should have communicated better with us so that we could have communicated better with our clients, especially in terms of the portal users,” the company added.
In a statement provided to the publication, Wolters Kluwer Chief Information Officer Martin Wuite said “customers were alerted immediately as soon as we discovered the issue.”
“When we detected the malware, we proactively took a broad range of platforms offline to protect our customers’ data,” he added.
Yet the publication noted that those announcements occurred on the company’s U.S. Facebook and newsroom page, followed by several statements via Twitter.
Accountants’ frustrations exemplify the knock-on effect of cyberattacks: a targeted company risks not only the security of data, but also the retention and satisfaction of customers.
The accounting firm sent “quiet panic” through the industry, reports said earlier this month, as accountants were unable to access data within a range of Wolters Kluwer platforms. At the time, the firm said it had been in contact with law enforcement officials as it worked “around the clock” to restore service.