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How Can I Protect My CPA Firm From Cyber Attacks?

Cybercrime is becoming more expensive. In fact, a single ransomware attack can cost a business more than $713,000 on average! That might be severe enough to drive a company out of business. So, why aren’t more companies doing everything they can to safeguard themselves, their data, and their customers against cyber-attacks?

Because cyber-based systems and activities are here to stay, it’s critical that we grasp the business risks associated with them. The fundamental actions for the accounting and finance community to implement in order to protect and recover from cyber assaults are outlined below.

1. Email Links Should Never Be Clicked.

This one is straightforward, but it is frequently overlooked. The majority of malware and security breaches are spread via links. Because they may look to be genuine, it’s even more vital to read emails carefully and confirm with a colleague before clicking on a link.

2. Examine Your Security Systems.

Start with the firewalls on your network. You’re aware that if any person or system in your organization is connected to a skeptic network, it’s subject to attack. A network security engineer should install and configure firewalls in your company, and your network should be updated and reviewed once a year.

Ensure that virus protection software is installed on every PC in your firm, and that it can automatically notify you of new updates for both virus protection and the operating system. Portable devices such as tablets, smartphones, computers, and thumb impressions that are used to access or store sensitive financial data must all be encrypted.

3. Hire People With Excellent Cybersecurity Skills.

When it comes to defending yourself from cyber-attacks, simply installing any anti-virus software from the internet will not suffice. For these kind of tasks, it is better to use professionals that are well-versed in the subject. For example, have IT professionals set up procedures to ensure that all of your files and data are secure. It is their role to help safeguard the security of this information, just as it is yours to look after your clients.

4. Invest In Cyber Insurance.

Cyber Insurance has emerged as a valuable business tool in the face of a rapidly changing technological ecosystem that poses a digital threat to your entire client’s data. Cyber insurance, also known as cyber risk insurance or cyber liability insurance, is a type of business insurance that helps companies manage their costs while recovering from a cyber-attack or security breach.

5. User Access Restriction Should Be Implemented.

Advanced permissions in networks, systems, and buildings can block or allow access based on role, permission level, time, and/or status. Organizations may not be taking full advantage of all permission settings that will improve security. Consult with system suppliers, IT teams, and facilities management to learn about the options available and whether or not best-in-class capabilities are accessible.

6. Put A Password Strength Policy In Place.

Wherever Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is available, use it. The best policies require employees to use passwords (combinations of letters, numbers, and special characters) that are different from those used for their personal accounts, and encourage them to utilize a company-approved password manager service.

7. External Drives Should Be Used With Caution.

Contrary to popular opinion, a significant amount of malware is placed on PCs using USB flash drives or other portable devices. If you’re not sure where those gadgets came from or whether they’re safe to use, don’t put them in your computer. You never know what might be lurking behind those items, ready to wreak havoc on your system.

8. Make The Switch To The Cloud.

Cloud systems are updated on a regular basis to address and cure security flaws. The ‘hardening’ of architecture is increased by modernizing systems. Security, such as a Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB), should be included in cloud migration budgeting for heightened protection appropriate for cloud settings and unique company processes. This is particularly crucial if the cloud provider does not provide one as an optional service. Consider outsourcing certain areas of cybersecurity, such as monitoring, to allow you to focus more on your business’s growth. For enterprises that do not have their own Security Operations Center, 24/7 monitoring by a Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP) is almost a requirement (SOC). Data redaction on platforms where sensitive information isn’t needed for processing could be an additional service.

9. Always Make A Backup Of Your Data.

Accountants were among the first to use cloud technologies that are accessed through a web browser. While cloud storage can increase efficiency and convenience, it also has significant drawbacks. Backup vital data to ensure that you never lose crucial data as a result of a ransomware attack.

10. Make A Risk Management Strategy.

If the worst happens, you should have a risk management strategy in place to save the day. Good businesses must be able to keep their composure and have a plan in place even in the aftermath of a cyberattack. Have a plan in place for what steps need to be taken, and be ready to follow the law when it comes to notifying clients of a data breach.

Are You Looking For A Computer Security Service You Can Finally Trust?

Managed Technology Solutions, also known as ManagedTEK – IT Security Services & Monitoring, is a managed service provider that provides IT support and security solutions for businesses throughout the greater San Francisco Bay Area. ManagedTEK, was founded on an urgency to empower and protect our community from the digital war on personal security and privacy. We focus and specialize in protecting businesses from falling victim to increasingly complex cyber threats. We use cutting-edge technology along with proven cybersecurity practices to provide support and protection for small businesses. Contact us today for your free consultation!