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Don’t Fall Victim to Cybersecurity Crimes During the Holidays

December 09, 2023
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Hackers stay busy during the holiday season. Not only are more people distracted by the holiday season, which means that your accounting firm’s data may be unattended, but there may be more transactions moving through the system during this busy time of year. Security for accounting firms is critical at any time of the year, but it’s even more important during the holidays. This holiday season, make sure you’re protecting your accounting firm from potential data breaches, viruses, ransomware, and more by scheduling a call with ABL Computers. In this article, we will teach you how not to fall victim to cybersecurity crimes during holidays.

1. Review Cybersecurity Policies With Your Employees.

During the holidays, many employees may shift to working from home. As an accounting firm, you often work with clients’ secure financial data, which means that employees who are working from home over the holidays may be carrying that confidential information with them. Cybersecurity for accounting firms may be more complex than it is for other organizations since you need to protect essential client data.

Unfortunately, if your employees aren’t adhering to those cybersecurity policies, your data may be under greater threat than usual.

Business people at an accounting firm working on their computers.

Home Security Requirements

You may require employees who are working from home to do so in a private area of the property, including a room with a door. You may also have minimum network security requirements, including only connecting to the company network from a private wireless connection rather than using public WiFi. Make sure you review all requirements with your employees before they shift to work from home over the holiday season.

Lost Device Requirements

With all the travel and busyness that takes place during the holiday season, it may increase the risk that a device will end up lost or stolen. An employee looks away for just a moment on a crowded train or bus, and suddenly, a device connected to the company network is gone. A busy, harried employee who took their computer with them on a flight to see family loses track of a laptop bag amidst the chaos. A lost device can be a serious security problem for your organization, but you can protect your company if you act quickly. Review the policy for managing and handling lost devices with your employees before the holiday season arrives (and make sure you have a clear plan in place for protecting that data).

Potential Scams and Threats

Your employees are often the weakest link in your accounting firm’s security, and the holidays are no exception. Despite the fact that employees know the dangers of clicking unsecured links, opening unfamiliar attachments, or even visiting potentially dangerous sites from a company device, they may quickly forget those rules. During the holidays, scammers have an easier time targeting employees with things like “lost package” or “delayed order” emails, which can heighten stress and cause normally savvy employees to take potentially dangerous actions. Review potential scams with your employees so they can avoid getting caught.

2. Make Sure Threat Monitoring Continues During the Holidays.

Cybersecurity crimes don’t disappear during the holidays. In fact, some hackers may be doing overtime while your employees are at home with their families, enjoying their holiday meals and far away from their devices as they rest up for the coming tax season. 

At ABL Computers, we make sure network monitoring continues during the holiday season, even when employees aren’t in the office. We keep an eye on your network traffic and make sure that nothing nefarious comes your way, decreasing the risk that your business will be a victim of a cybersecurity crime during the most wonderful time of the year.

Businessman working on a laptop with virtual screen.

3. Have a Threat Response Plan in Place Before You Leave for the Holidays.

Chances are, your business has a threat response plan in place that will allow you to respond quickly and effectively to any threat that might arise during the course of normal business. (And if you don’t, now is the time to lay it out.) However, your plan may need to change during the holidays. Some key employees may be traveling, putting them out of reach. Others may choose to disconnect completely while sharing time with friends and loved ones.

Make sure you are prepared for how you will respond to a potential cybersecurity crime this year. Have a plan that includes:

  • What steps you need to take to secure your network.
  • Who you need to contact in order to begin your disaster response plan.
  • What steps you will take to minimize damage to your clients, and how you will implement it.
  • How you will notify clients about any potential threat.

At ABL Computers, we help with your disaster response plan, streamlining your response time and helping you deal more effectively with any challenges you may face along the way.

A woman working on a desktop computer inside her room at home.

4. Pay Attention to Emerging Threats to Avoid Cybersecurity Crimes.

At ABL Computers, we are familiar with the changing face of cybersecurity crime. New threats can arise in the blink of an eye, from zero-day exploits that require fast responses to new ways scammers can find their way into vulnerable systems. We strive to keep our clients informed about those potential challenges and provide them with solutions that allow them to secure their businesses against further threats, protecting them and their clients. As a result, you’ll be prepared to deal with the threats that may come your way–and, in many cases, avoid them altogether.

A cybersecurity officer ensuring there are no cybersecurity threats on the laptop.

5. Check Your Backups Before the Holidays.

Data backups are a key part of ensuring that your business can stay operational and avoid expensive downtime in the event of a breach. Before you leave for the holiday season, check your backups and make sure they are in working order–and that you can easily restore your system if something goes wrong. Knowing that you have backups in place is like securing an extra box of batteries before Christmas morning or picking up an extra gift “just in case” a last-minute event comes up that you weren’t anticipating: a critical part of making sure that everything goes smoothly.

Contact ABL Computers to Ensure That Your Accounting Firm is Protected This Holiday Season

As your holiday preparations wind up, make sure that you protect your business against cybersecurity crimes so that you’ll be ready to go when tax season begins. Reach out to ABL Computers to discuss your cybersecurity needs and how you can protect yourself through the holidays and beyond.

ABL Computers
ABL Computers

Started in 2001, ABL Computers is a complete technology solution provider. We are 100% committed to making sure business owners have the most reliable and professional IT service in New York. Our team of talented IT professionals can solve your IT nightmares once and for all.

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