Data security risks - many accountants fall dangerously short

11th Feb 2020
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Data Security

There's a reason cars need regular MOTs, safe tyres and good brakes - it makes them safer.

Such safety checks aren't mandatory for computer systems, and most users are at risk of losing data.

A data crash may be less physically dangerous than a car crash, but it can be more expensive.

The worst case is server failure when data on a disk needs recovering. It does happen.

In fact it happened to one of our customers this week, prompting this article.

Unlike MOT checks on cars, checks for correct data backups are often never done.

Users plough on thinking it will never happen to them, only to find the problem when it's too late.

Backups should be done daily to off-site locations, and occasional (maybe monthly) snap shots done.

This way recovery to a point in time becomes easy.

However very few, if any, companies I know actually do "fire drills" to check that back up data is correct and up-to-date.

Relying on the fact that the data is in the cloud increases confidence but maybe provides a false sense of security.

Regardless of where your data is, you need to make sure the backups work and check them at regular intervals.

Even if your data is backed up regularly the problem doesn't stop there.

Many users rely on "open systems" to hold their data i.e. Windows folders, or folders in Outlook.

Some companies still use paper-based systems. Paper can't be backed up and hence is a risk of fire, theft, water damage etc.

Users who save client files in Windows folders don't know if their files have been deleted, which is typically very easy.

Some users create new letters by "cloning" an existing letter - editing it and using "Save as" to file the new document.

Simply selecting "Save" instead of "Save as" destroys the original.

This applies to Excel and Ms-Word or any windows files. Doing version control manually risks such mistakes.

Emails, the life blood of client communications, can be deleted easily by mistake, or because the recipient doesn't want anybody to see the contents.

Not good for client complaints.

Manually filing emails increases the risk of mis-filing, creating more confusion.

Many companies still don't conform to GDPR standards. 

PDF attachments are sent un-encrypted using email, so are open to hacking.

When sending emails in Ms-Outlook, it kindly offers matching email addresses to send to.

Unfortunately, this invites selection of the wrong recipient - easily done - with resulting embarrassment.

Windows is not a safe environment for filing confidential information.

Logical Office CRM protects emails and client data from deletion.

Security is built in for each user.

Client data is not deleted. It is archived and only authorised users can delete accounts.

Confidential documents can be marked "for your eyes only" to be viewed by selected groups such as partners or departments.

Emails can never be sent to the wrong company when sent from the client "dashboard".

Confidential data is sent as an encrypted attachment, or encrypted to a secure Portal for e-signing.

Archived data can be viewed and restored to its original state.

Logical Office provides a secure environment for data and adds user and document controls.

To find out more about our data-friendly secure environment, contact us:

Email: [email protected] or tel +44(0)20 7482 7077 

Logical Office Ltd 7 Apollo Studios Charlton Kings Road London NW5 2SB