Accountants and CPA firms hold large amounts of their clients’ financial data. That data makes them and their information systems very tempting targets for hackers who would use that data to perpetrate financial fraud and other criminal conduct. Protecting and storing that data properly is a function of a few basic mechanisms.
- Full disk encryption extends data encryption to all systems and devices that enable this encryption methodology. With this technology, all data that flows through a device or network is automatically encrypted such that even if it is stolen, a cyberthief will not be able to read or interpret it.
- Firewalls and network security procedures will block known threats and reduce the visibility of a CPA firm’s wireless network to outsiders. A more robust firewall will include monitoring of all data that flows into and out of a network and alerts an IT specialist when regular data flow patterns are interrupted.
- Strong password requirements will eliminate one of the weaker links in a CPA firm’s data protection strategy. For convenience and simplicity, a firm’s employees might default to simple passwords that are easier to remember. If they use more complex passwords, they might fail to change them frequently. A hacker might be able to slip a keystroke logger into an employee’s workstation that allows the hacker to capture strong passwords. If using and changing strong passwords is too much of a burden, a password manager can simplify the task.
- Educate and train all employees on how to exercise good cybersecurity practices. Those practices include refraining from using free public Wi-Fi, not clicking on attachments in emails from unknown sources, using VPNs and secure networks when working remotely, and not sharing logins or passwords with third parties.
- Create an event containment plan that is automatically initiated when a data breach does occur. The strongest cyberdefenses and best employee training strategies will not prevent every data breach occurrence. When a CPA firm does experience a cyberattack, that containment plan should dictate the personnel who are responsible to limit the losses and to assess any damage that might have occurred. A critical part of damage containment is confirming the availability of resources to pay for losses and liabilities associated with the breach. A CPA insurance company can offer coverage for those losses and liabilities with a cyberinsurance policy that reflects the value of the CPA firm’s data and its relationship with its clients. The biggest casualty of a data breach is often the CPA firm’s reputation as a professional entity that can be trusted with confidential client information. The protection offered by a cyberinsurance policy can help a CPA firm to get back on its feet and to resume operations quickly after a data breach, while providing resources to protect the interests of the firm’s clients and to give those clients assurances that the data breach event is being taken seriously.
- Do not ignore the physical security of computers and workplace environments. Data theft can occur when a CPA’s computer or smartphone are lost or stolen. This problem is intensified when small portable storage devices, such as thumb drives, are used to move data between computers. Remote data wipes can offer some protection when a user realizes that a device has been lost or stolen.
- Place limits on “bring your own device” policies. A CPA firm that allows employees to use their own smartphones and tablets to access the firm’s information systems risks losing control over stored data. An employee’s device can include apps that have access to every part of the device, and those apps can provide a pathway for hackers to steal data. At a minimum employee should be cautioned to turn off the access and rights that apps on their personal devices might have to other aspects of those devices.
And finally, remember to stay up to date with all the latest cybersecurity news. While these tips are evergreen and widely applicable for CPAs everywhere, new cyberattacks are constantly being developed. By keeping on top of the media landscape, you can better defend your organization against data breach.
Here is What Makes You More Likely to Fall Victim to a Data Breach
In recent years, data breaches have become more and more common. Being the victim of a breach is a very scary thing, your personal data is at risk and you aren’t sure how little or how much information has been taken from you. Are there…
If Online Privacy Is Dead, Is There Anything We Can Do?
The online world is both wonderful and frightening in equal measure. On the one hand, we have access to unlimited information and resources, but on the other, we have zero privacy. For most adults, the internet is a part of every aspect of their daily…
Reason To Choose Comodo SSL Certificate To Secure Your Website
It should be clear by now that for your website to survive in this modern era, hacker ridden internet era, it is important for all the information that go on it or through it to be encrypted. To have a website without SSL protection is…
6 Unexpected Security Concerns, and How to Prepare
As powerful as the Internet is right now, it’s impossible to even imagine where it will go over the next years and beyond. But, as fast as security protection continues to improve, hackers seem to improve even more quickly. Everything from new devices to apps…
Your Business Needs These 13 Digital Security Solutions – Here’s How To Get The Most Out Of Each
How would you characterize your organization’s digital security posture? If you’re not sure how to answer this question, or perhaps would prefer not to answer it at all, you’re not alone. Countless decision-makers, from uber-competent CTOs and CISOs to CEOs and COOs who couldn’t code…
- 3D Printing
- App Dev
- Artificial Intelligence
- Arts and Entertainment
- Big Data
- Blockchain Tech
- Business Technology
- Car Technology
- Cloud Computing
- Cloud Storage
- Computer and Technology
- Conference Calling
- Coupons and Deals
- Cyber Security
- Dark Left 1
- Data Center
- Data Recovery
- Digital Arena
- Digital Marketing
- Edu Tech
- Email Marketing
- Google Glass
- Guides and Tutorials
- Health and Fitness
- Home Appliance
- Home Improvement
- Home Security
- Internet and Businesses Online
- Internet Marketing
- IT Careers
- Mobile Apps
- Mobile Security
- New Tech
- Online Shopping
- Project Management
- Reference and Education
- Reputation Management
- Sales & Marketing
- Shopping and Product reviews
- Small Business
- Social Media
- Tech Trends
- Technical Support
- Technology in Education
- Tips & Tricks
- Tips And Tricks
- Video Conferencing
- Virtual Reality
- Wearable Technology
- Web Design
- Web Development
- Web Hosting
How To Track Your Child’s iPhone Without Them Knowing
There are several ways already available that can help you track your child’s iPhone. However, not all of them will track without the child’s knowledge. With children being more tech-savvy than you, they are bound to know and grasp more. That is why your tracking…
How To Choose The Right Hardware When Building A New PC
Building your own PC can be challenging. There are just so many things you need to remember. You spent a lot of time on your dream computer for it to be the fastest and efficient in the world. Or at least better than your on-line…
3 Ways to Prepare For Cyber Security Risks That Employees Must Know
In a world where everything is much easier to do via mobile, app, or device, technology is not going to slow down. We’re all guilty of potentially owning more than one device, whether that is our personal phones, work phones, tablets or fitness trackers. All…
Non-Negotiable Elements For Your Business IT Security Plan
In 2019, having a business IT security plan is more important than ever. An IT security plan is the first line of defense you have for protecting your business – and your clients – against cybercriminals. Cybercriminals include hackers, who frequently obtain personal information with…
Businesses Need To Be Proactive When It Comes To Cyber Security
For business of any size, making sure they are not only compliant with security regulations but continually improving and adjusting the measures they have in place is vital. Quite often the factor which determines how a business approaches cyber security is the mindset of the…
How To Become A Cyber Security Analyst
What is Cyber Security? Cyber security is the practice of protecting a system or network from digital attacks. These attacks are generally aimed to retrieve or destroy sensitive information and it is a serious threat to all the organizations. Who is A Cyber Security Analyst…