For accountants and accounting firms across the US, the “taxing” nature of tax season may open the possibility of a cybersecurity breach. As money managers and (digital) paper-pushers alike burn the proverbial midnight oil to help Americans file on time, vast sums of money are being discussed, and an enormous amount of client data is at risk.
‘Tis the season for a cybersecurity breach
This tax season, here are 4 cybersecurity tips accounting firms should consider for mitigating potential threats:
- Improve your cybersecurity IQ: Have a frank discussion with your team about the typical threats that firms and clients face. Data breaches are often the result of careless human error – like clicking on a suspicious link, or relying on obvious, redundant passwords.
- Limit internal data access: Enact multi-layer verification protection for cloud-based data access. Often that includes a password and a phone number. Speak with an IT provider to maximize these security protocols.
- Detail your incident response: Learn from your organization’s mistakes by documenting what went wrong and what went right. Catalog this data and make it accessible for all parties, clients included if their financial data has been compromised.
- Monitor threats 24/7: Consult with a cybersecurity expert to provide round-the-clock data monitoring and firewall protection. Make sure to run tests during tax “off” season to ensure codes of behavior are being followed.
Keeping your accounting firm accountable
Keeping your firm accountable in the dangerous world of cybersecurity – breaches that could cost you and your client hundreds of thousands of dollars – is more critical than ever. So, before your clients file their returns, file this advice and mark it as essential in the months and years ahead.
For a no-cost, introductory Cyber Health Check-Up for your accountant, accounting firm, or your business, contact Sentribit at 908-232-2060.