Accounting firms have gone through a vast phase of transformation and all these changes have left a positive impact on how we used to deal with accounting practices.
Well, there is no denial in the fact that accounting firms hold the same importance since their inception but the way they deal with their clients has been completely transformed. For example, in the modern era, no accounting firms send it accountant to the office of their clients for accessing the books as we are thriving on a cloud accounting solution that gives access direct from the desktop or laptop of the accounting firm.
The digitization of the world along with the accounting firm has surely made accountants more effective, quick, skilled, and productive but at the same time, accounting firms have to deal with security issues on the digital platform as well. Keeping security in mind is really important for accounting firms since they deal with the most sensitive type of data that is produced or used by any firm.
But since accountants are not cyber experts, they don’t have proper knowledge of how to keep their presence secure. This is why, in this blog post, we have come up with some of the best security tips that accounting firms can use for keeping the data completely safe and secure.
Role-based action control
This might look like one of the simplest things that you can do in order to keep your firm secure from cyberattacks but this is surely very effective and that’s why it is used by so many accounting firms. Role-based access control is basically a neutral access policy that will restrict all the user’s access right solely on the basis of the type of role they play in the organization which results in granting specific access to specific roles. This type of security approach is also known as the zero trust model and this type of approach helps your firm in adopting the ‘never trust, always verify’ policy.
Regular scanning for vulnerability and patch management
An important aspect of security is always knowing which type of systems are connected with your network and making sure that all those systems that are connected are up to date. By conducting scanning for regular vulnerability will help you in identifying those systems that can cause security issues in your network and you will also be able to identify the issues in those systems as well.
While on the other side, patch management will help you with pinpointing and installing all those patches that are missing in your devices and system, and thus you will make sure that every system in your accounting firm is up to date and free of security loopholes.
Boundary protection and network architecture
If you are running an accounting firm and if are serious about preventing attacks then the first thing that you will need to do is to understand the system and architecture of your network. You should know that the network architecture is basically the physical component of your technology stack and how they are organized, configured, and interconnected. If you will not have an understanding of all these aspects of your networks then you will never be able to work towards its security.
Boundary protection is the basic process of monitoring and controlling different types of communication at the external boundaries of the network with the basic motive of stay away from any type of infiltration.
Use of firewall for locking down the network
Most of the firms have different types of firewalls in their PCs, servers, and cable modems and they may have a dedicated firewall device as well. If your firewall will not be configured properly then it will not be able to act as your best security layer and you should know that proper management of firewall is a highly specialized skill that even many IT professionals don’t possess.
This is why your accounting firm will need to hire a managed security service provider or an MSSP that will make sure that your firm has the firewall protection needed. In addition to this, you will also need to create strong passwords for firewalls, network devices, and servers instead of relying on default codes.
Securing data on the level of risk involved
The potential threats will always be there on the internet even if it not always apparent. This is why instead of applying the same level of security on each and every type of data used by your company, you will need to start segmenting the data used by your accounting firm on the basis of the level of risk involved. For example, you can keep data like debit card numbers, bank account numbers, and other bank details in A category of data and use the best security measure for it.
This way, you will not have to burn a hole in your pocket while using security measures for your data and you will also be able to keep the important data completely secure and safe. This type of approach is used by even some of the best accounting firms out there.
Run due diligence on service providers
During the peak season, most of the CPA firms start outsourcing as they have time-crunch and they can’t keep everything in-house. Most of the third party vendors to whom CPA firm outsource use cloud based software solutions as it is one of the best tools for offering agility and salability. However, even these advanced platforms can become victim of cyber attack if not managed well by the service provider.
This is why it becomes imperative for any accounting firm to analyze the strength and weaknesses of the service provider before things go out of control. What are their preventive measures? Which type of security layers they have deployed? Get answers to some of these common questions.
Purchase cyber insurance
You will be surprised to know that the damage caused by cyberattacks will reach around $6 trillion dollar annually by the end of 2021. This is one of the main reasons why the need for cyber insurance is increasing among each and every industry, including the accounting industry. You should know that cyber insurance serves as cyber risk insurance or cyber liability cover insurance. If you are running an accounting firm then you should go for it without any second thoughts.
But you should know that cyber insurance will not protect your accounting firm entirely from a cyber attack. But it will help you in mitigating the risk of security breaches through underwriting recompense overhead.
Accounting firms deal with the most sensitive type of data used by any firm and that’s why using the best security measure becomes important for them. Even most of the criminals know the value of the data used by the accounting firm and that’s why such firms are always on the top of the target list. But instead of helpless among the large-scale cyberattacks, you can better prepare for it by using the tips mentioned in this blog post.