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4 Security Fixes for Your Accounting or Bookkeeping Firm

May 14, 2024
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4 Security Fixes for Your Accounting or Bookkeeping Firm

In the fast-evolving landscape of accounting and bookkeeping, where sensitive financial data is at the core of operations, ensuring robust security measures is paramount. The increasing sophistication of cyber threats demands proactive steps to safeguard the integrity and confidentiality of financial information. Accounting and bookkeeping firms dealing with a vast amount of sensitive data must adopt comprehensive security fixes to mitigate risks and protect their clients’ financial well-being. 

Of course, no security structure is perfect. Accountants and bookkeepers are as susceptible to security gaps and attacks as any other business, though the data you handle is vitally important to protect. In order to maintain security compliance and assure your clients that their financial accounts are secure, it is important to constantly seek out ways to improve or repair your security defenses. 

Assessing Current Security

The first step to comprehensive security is an evaluation of your current security measures. How does your technical infrastructure contribute to security? Are your accounts secure? Does your software work together to achieve end-to-end security? Are there any gaps in your security or outdated technology that could yield to exploitation? Does your team know how to repel social hacking? The answers to these questions can be found with a comprehensive security assessment, both through automatic scans and penetration testing.

An initial assessment will tell you where the inherent weaknesses lie in your current system and provide direction on achieving the current highest standard of data security required in the financial industry.

Four Key Security Fixes

Most businesses need to strengthen four critical factors of their current security defenses: Passwords, authentication, updates, and employee training. You can significantly improve your accounting and bookkeeping data security by implementing the recommended fixes.

1. Strong Password Policies

Make sure that both your staff and your clients use strong passwords. Require ten or more characters, at least one unique character, number, and capital letter in each password, and that these not be the first or last character in the sequence. This will protect passwords from easy cracking and make them more challenging to steal through casual observation.

2. Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

Multi-factor authentication sends an email or text message, which must be confirmed with each login on a new device. This will prevent stolen credentials from successfully providing access and alert the user if a hacker tries to log into their account with an unprompted MFA request in their inbox.

3. Regular Software Updates and Patching

Regular updates and security patches will keep your software stack secure from known and evolving threats. Each time a vulnerability or a new hacker technique is discovered, software teams release an update to close the gap in security. Staying current ensures that your accounting and bookkeeping tech stack is protected with the latest defenses.

4. Employee Cybersecurity Training

Lastly, protect your employees from being social-hacked through phishing and scam techniques. Teach them how to recognize phishing messages and implement data security protocols that will ultimately improve the secure manner in which you handle accounts, data, and exposure to infected assets.

Steps to Implement Security Fixes 

Implementing new password and authentication policies can be done all at once. Invite your entire staff to a security meeting where they will learn how to make strong passwords (acronyms, multi-words, letter substitution, and humor). Have them create and implement new passwords and set up MFA simultaneously. Then, send an email to clients, prompting (if not requiring) them to do the same.

Your IT team or service can handle regular software updates. Simply decide on a schedule to check for and implement the most recent updates and patches.

Employee cybersecurity training will require securing a trainer or a well-rated online course. We also recommend cybersecurity drills with periodic mock phishing emails and a reward to anyone who reports rather than clicking on the mockup attack messages.

Benefits of Enhanced Security

Implementing enhanced security measures offers valuable benefits to accounting and bookkeeping firms. Not only will you be able to earn greater trust from your clients by amping up security measures, but you will also be protecting your business from a landscape of cybersecurity threats. Repelling attacks or discouraging attacks with well-designed and robust security will keep the sensitive data you handle secure. 

Build Client Trust With Essential Security Fixes Today

Data security is paramount for accounting and bookkeeping firms. With these four simple upgrades to your security procedures, you can significantly reduce your risk. However, if your security assessment reveals potential vulnerabilities beyond this point, ABL Computers can provide IT security services compliant with the financial industry’s needs. We can get your security up to industry standards and keep it there. Contact us for a security consultation at any time.

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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