Give Your Business The Cybercrime Protection It Needs With These 8 Tips

When hackers use unlawful means to gain access to confidential data of CPA firms, such as the contact details of clients, their date of births, and credit card information, while it doesn’t mean that an attack on your business is imminent, but it should leave you asking yourself if there’s more you can do to protect your business from the threat of cybercrime.

Fortunately for accounting businesses – including those who offer outsourcing for CPA firms – there are 8 tips they can follow to protect their business, that are highly effective, affordable, and simple:

1. Back up all data

By using several different ways to back-up data – daily back-ups to cloud storage, server back-ups at regular intervals, and frequent checking of data storage functionality – CPA firms can ensure that any information lost or stolen, is fully recoverable.

2. Update all systems and software

Helping to rectify security flaws and any vulnerabilities operating systems and security software may be vulnerable to, carrying out regular updates and the setting up of firewalls, is essential for combating cybercrime.

3. Encrypt all data

Any sensitive data held by a company should be encrypted, which converts data into codes that are secret, before it’s sent via the internet. When storing and sharing any data, turn on both network and data encryption to prevent anyone unauthorized from being able to access it.

4. Use multi-factor authentication

Offering extra security for all a CPA firms accounts, two or multi-factor authentication has already been adopted by the majority of banks, email providers and social platforms.

5. Monitor all systems at all times

By recording all software and equipment your business uses, and by getting rid of sensitive data from all software and devices no longer being used (disconnecting them completely from the network), you can prevent cyber criminals from finding a back door to your business data. You should also take immediate steps to remove any access granted to those formerly in your employ, or who may have changed roles within the company.

6. Put robust security policies in place

All employees should know the rules regarding the sharing of data when using other devices or computers, and when accessing the internet, and having strong and clear cybersecurity policies in place is a great way to ensure this.

7. Help employees spot the warning signs

Teaching your employees what to look out for when it comes to cybercrime, is probably one of the best ways to keep your business protected, especially when you consider that the vast majority of attacks begin with a mistake made by a human.

8. Make sure all clients are protected from cyber attacks

While working with reputable third parties such as offshore bookkeeping services, is sometimes one of the best ways to protect client information (since they typically have extremely robust privacy and cyber policies in place), it’s still important that you don’t take this for granted. Manage all third parties responsibly and purchase cyber liability insurance coverage where appropriate, and you can keep your clients’ private data as secure as possible.

CPA firms are no more or less vulnerable than any other type of business when it comes to cybercrime, but companies that typically handle large amounts of sensitive data, have every right to be concerned about the risk of cyber-attacks. Being a victim of cybercrime can cripple a company, and in some instances, put it out of business for good. But, by keeping cyber safety at the forefront of your mind at all times, and following the 8 tips above, you can keep all of your company and clients’ sensitive information as secure as you possibly can.