PKF Francis Clark has announced the appointment of Ryan Goodwin as cyber security specialist at the group.
Goodwin will be tasked with advising clients on how to safeguard their IT systems by carrying out vulnerability assessments, penetration testing and training, and responding to incidents as they happen.
His addition comes amid the growing threats of ransomware, malware, and phishing attacks, with the firm claiming that 39% of UK businesses have reported security attacks over the past 12 months.
Goodwin said: “Cyber crime isn’t just an issue for the big businesses we hear about in the news when high profile data breaches happen – criminals are targeting organisations of all sizes where they identify opportunities to extort money by exploiting vulnerabilities in their systems.
“I’m also looking forward to educating cyber security professionals in the region, through training courses and seminars, so that together we can raise standards of cyber security across the South West.”
He will provide the role with eight years of experience in IT and cyber security, having previously worked as a digital forensics investigator for Devon and Cornwall Police.
More recently, Goodwin served as a digital forensic and incident response consultant for a Cambridge-based consultancy firm.
Glenn Nicol, partner and head of corporate services at PKF, said: “Owner-managed businesses often lack the in-house expertise to protect themselves, so our cyber security services are a logical extension of our holistic support to clients.
“Ryan’s expertise is already proving valuable in helping to educate our clients and colleagues about the evolving cyber security threats we all face in our work and personal lives.”