How To Manage Information Security For Accounting Firms
As firms continue to work remotely and cloud applications become more critical than ever, how is your firm ensuring that it’s doing the right things to keep its information secure? A good defense is the best way to ensure that you and your clients' information remains safe and out of the wrong hands. What worked in the past to defend you from hackers and other security dangers is unlikely to succeed in the future as attack information theft tactics become more complex. However, there are several cybersecurity measures and controls that accounting firms may apply to dramatically limit the risk of a successful assault and mitigate the subsequent harm if attackers obtain access to systems. Here are some examples.
- Control sensitive data transfers
Firms may use Data Loss Prevention (DLP) systems to monitor and restrict the transmission of accounting information. DLP technology employs contextual scanning and content inspection to look for sensitive data such as PII and financial information in hundreds of file formats. Accounting companies may therefore detect and track the travels of all files holding sensitive data.
They can also implement policies that regulate the transfer of such files. DLP systems can prevent sensitive data from being sent over the internet via email, popular messaging applications, or file-sharing services. They can prevent sensitive data from being uploaded to cloud storage providers or copied and pasted into the email body text. In this manner, companies may avoid employee carelessness, which is one of the leading causes of data breaches.
- Begin a multifactor authentication policy
Multifactor authentication is one of the most effective ways to prevent unwanted access to email accounts and networks. A multifactor authentication policy requires a user to have two pieces of information, not only a password, to get access. Even if user passwords or credentials have been obtained, this stops attackers from gaining access.
- Maintain strong encryption at rest and transit
Strong encryption is critical for safeguarding your data from prying eyes, and you must ensure that your data is secure no matter where it is or how it is used. When information is at rest or just in your system, it must be encrypted, as well as when it is in transit or traveling from one area to another. Understanding who has constant access to the encryption keys is also critical.
- Gain access to simple cybersecurity tools
Accounting firms should use a firewall to safeguard their network and keep it up to date with the latest updates to avoid hacks. Antivirus and antimalware software can aid in the prevention of malware assaults as well as the opening of potentially harmful files or malicious websites.
- Train employees
Finally, phishing attempts targeting workers are one of the most serious security dangers. Hackers can steal credentials or implant malware inside a corporate network by fooling employees into accessing a bad link or downloading an infected file. Ransomware assaults are frequently carried through via phishing.
Zero Trust design, Trusted Platform Module (TPM) capabilities, and antimalware solutions can prevent phishing assaults from causing too much harm, but staff training can also be advantageous. Companies may boost awareness of phishing attacks and educate staff on the best security measures to address them by training employees on what to look for and how to react if they are targeted.
Want to reduce your staff’s stress
At Taxfyle, we want to empower firms and reduce bottlenecks in their workflow. By outsourcing your excess work to our team of licensed and experienced CPAs and EAs, you can give your employees more room to breathe so they can spend their time making meaningful connections with clients and increasing your firm’s business.
Don’t lose time to run-of-the-mill services. Put that work in the hands of our Pros so your firm can continue its growth trajectory without risking increased overhead fees or burnout.