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A secure future for accountants: Why cyber security matters more than ever

22nd Dec 2023
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As an accountant, you’re always looking for ways to protect your clients' data from the clutches of cybercriminals. Wouldn’t it be disastrous if the data you’re responsible for fell into the wrong hands? Just imagine the GDPR implications if confidential client data was leaked. Unfortunately, accounting practices can’t point a bat signal to the sky in times of need, which is why cybersecurity is so vital in business today. 

The importance of cybersecurity in the accounting industry  

Cybersecurity is no longer an optional add-on, it's an must-have. Not only does it protect your practice from outside threats, but it keeps your employees in check and ensures they don't turn rogue and do something risky. It encrypts financial data, beefs up the authentication processes, and sets up nifty security protocols to keep you and your clients’ digital files safe and sound. 

How to protect your accounting data from cyber threats  

Start by making sure all your passwords are especially long and strong, use multi-factor authentication when available, frequently review the latest security updates, and be sure to back up your data regularly.  

The most common types of cyber-attacks against accounting firms  

With great power comes great responsibility... and as an accounting firm it’s your responsibility to protect data and maintain the safety of your clients. Some of the typical types of cyber threats aimed at accounting firms include phishing scams, ransomware attacks, and malware infiltration. With sophisticated techniques and methods deployed by hackers, it’s vital that accounting practices get on the front foot to safeguard valuable client data and protect their business interests. 

Fortunately, there are steps accounting firms can take to reduce their exposure, like using reliable anti-malware programs and staying up-to-date with the latest cybersecurity news. 

Steps you can take to prevent a data breach in your firm  

Preventing a data breach is something no business should take lightly, but that doesn’t mean it has to be a daunting process. In fact, there are some simple steps you can take to get ahead of the curve and help keep your information safe. 

Start by keeping your staff primed and ready with regular training on the best practices for protecting confidential practice data, and pair this with sufficient resources toward keeping software up to date. Upgrading key programs like antivirus, firewall and internet security will go a long way toward reducing risk. And last but not least, always have a backup plan in place if an issue does arise.  

What to do if your firm suffers a data breach 

If your practice has suffered a data breach, there are things you can do to lessen the damage and make sure it doesn't happen again: 

  • First, notify everyone affected as soon as possible – both inside and outside the company.  

  • Second, be sure to identify where the breach occurred in order to define any areas of weakness that need to be improved on.  

  • Third, make sure all your systems have tight security measures in place, such as strong passwords across the board and regular software updates.  

  • Finally, keep an eye out for any suspicious activity and get help from professionals if needed.  

Final thoughts 

Anyone in the accounting industry should take cybersecurity extremely seriously – after all, data breaches can have catastrophic consequences for both businesses and individuals. Not only can a breach put people's private data in harm's way, but it could also cost your firm dearly in the long run. 

Cybersecurity is an ever-evolving field so make sure to stay up to date on the latest trends and tactics that hackers use. With vigilance, proper education, and backup plans in place you should be able to keep your accounting practice secure as it continues to thrive. 

Looking for secure accounting software? Bright can help. Check out our cloud-based solutions – including BrightPay, BrightManager, BrightPropose, BrightTax and BrightCoSec – to reduce the stress of protecting your accounting data. Cloud solutions use advanced and robust encryption technology to provide that extra security every accounting practice needs. 

Joe moore

 

 

Written by Joe Moore | Bright

 

 

 

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