Protecting your accounting firm from cyber threats takes more than just state-of-the-art cybersecurity systems; it also requires ongoing vigilance from you and your employees. Human error is typically the weakest link in any secure computer system; no matter how robust your protocols, one mistake can often still make the system vulnerable. Let’s look at a few of the most common cybersecurity risks accounting firms face today, and how you can protect yourself from them.Even with occasional human error, a multilayered cybersecurity system can often proactively detect and remove harmful threats before they cause problems. To learn more about making your accounting firm’s network secure, call 1-877-NetServ today.
Most damage to computer networks comes from within—namely, by someone clicking on an attachment containing a virus or malware. These breaches effectively allow an intruder to penetrate the secure network through mistake or ignorance.
Protecting against the threat: Never open an email attachment without knowing the person who sent it and confirming with that person that they sent it. You can also use an antivirus program to scan the email attachment before opening it.
Cybercriminals also like to use “phishing” emails—phony emails made to look like legitimate organizations attempting to dupe the recipient into giving up personal or proprietary information by sounding an alarm that their account is already in jeopardy. If you click on the link in the email, you’re taken to a counterfeit site to input your personal information, which a hacker can use to infiltrate the system.
Protecting against the threat: Learn to recognize common signs of a phishing email. Even if you think the alert may be legitimate, don’t click on any links in the email itself; instead, log into the account separately through an Internet browser. If something is wrong, you’ll probably see it immediately.
Smaller firms often employ a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy to save on equipment costs, allowing employees to log into the system with their own laptops, mobile devices, and home computers. This practice presents a cybersecurity risk, either from “bad actors” who come into your firm intending to steal data, and/or from employees whose computers are already infected with malware.
Protecting against the threat: Spend some extra money and purchase computers and phones designated solely for company use. If you must utilize a BYOD system, consult with your IT service to make sure you have a solid password-protected system in place.
Failure to Have Established Security Protocols
One of the most common reasons why human errors cause cybersecurity breaches is simply that people don’t know the rules—or that there aren’t any rules. If an employee doesn’t know not to use the same password for all their devices, or if they don’t know how to recognize a phishing email, they may inadvertently open the door to a threat without realizing. Work with your IT service to establish a clear set of cybersecurity rules and protocols, and make sure all employees have proper training in these protocols.