Although the digital landscape has opened plenty of opportunities for various industries, this progress has also made cyberattacks ever more frequent and dangerous. Countless organizations of all sizes have fallen prey to cybercriminals, making it a serious threat not only for the company’s growth but clients all over the world.
Cyberattacks are designed to target computer networks and information systems, all with the intent of malicious activities. Hackers use various tools and tactics to execute elaborate schemes, all in an effort to steal, alter, and destroy information. They often pose as trustworthy sources, and in most cases, the actual companies themselves, to gain access to sensitive information.
Unfortunately, the highly targeted industry remains to be the financial field. Accountants and other finance professionals hold sensitive client information, which includes various financial transactions like bookkeeping, taxes, and bank transfers.
If you leave your accounting firm vulnerable to cyberattacks, sensitive information will be accessed by hackers. Such a major data breach will cause you to lose client trust, and thereby cause your business to fail.
The question now stands: how do you ensure that your accounting firm remains safe from unwarranted data breaches? Here’s how:
Security protocols are there for a reason, and you should regularly have them checked to ensure that your security is in good condition. Data protection is of utmost importance, and outdated security protocols can put you at a great risk of cyberattacks from malware or hackers.
It would be in your best interest to outsource your security system review from a trusted firm, especially if you handle sensitive information like names, addresses, and bank accounts. Reviewing your security protocols and keeping them up to date will also be an advantage in helping your clients feel more secure when working with you.
Keeping your networks secure is also crucial in reducing the risk of cyberattacks. Your company’s WiFi network has to be equipped with encryption protocols and strong passwords to keep it secure. Additionally, keeping your internal network separate from guest networks can lower the risk of outsiders getting your sensitive work-related data.
It’s also good practice to back up your files regularly, especially if you handle crucial client information. Backing up your files regularly will spare you from the headaches of recovering data and lost client trust in case of a network attack.
While data security is a security that falls largely on your shoulders, understand that it takes two to succeed. In other words, you must encourage your clients to actively participate in securing their information. Make them understand that it’s incredibly important to be wary of possible phishing attacks, which comes in the forms of emails and fake websites that cause harm. Work actively to help them identify an attack when they see it, especially when it comes to hackers that mimic your brand’s identity.
Hacking and cybercrime run rampant, and it can be daunting to think of the catastrophic possibilities it can bring to your firm. If international insurance and bank institutions can be hacked, what makes your accounting firm immune? The answer is quite simple, but demanding in terms of execution: adopt a proactive approach. Work tirelessly to protect your client’s data, as this is the only way to ward off attacks on your firm.
Part of the proactive approach is investing in tools that can strengthen your security. My Firm 360 offers a client management software for accountants, one that keeps client access secure and away from potential threats. We understand that cybercrime is everywhere, but with the right tools and partners, you’ll be able to keep your clients safe and satisfied. Book a demo—reach out to us today.