Tips for Accounting Professionals to Increase Cybersecurity
October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM). The 2022 theme is “See Yourself in Cyber,” which is about helping people understand the role they play in protecting themselves and others online. Check out our resource library to learn how to protect your data.
It’s critical that everyone involved in your practice — yes, that means full-time, part-time, and seasonal employees as well as contractors and vendors — understand cybersecurity risks and their responsibilities in protecting data. After all, you’re only as strong as your weakest link.
Hackers are always looking for new and more sophisticated ways to access sensitive information. Our best defense is continued education and implementation of best practices, like those listed below.
Cybersecurity Best Practices for Accounting Firms
While there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to cybersecurity (because each practice has unique risks), there are some general best practices everyone should follow.
- Use strong, unique passwords or passphrases with at least 12 characters
- Keep all hardware and software updated to protect against malware and ransomware infections
- Know how to recognize suspicious links that could be embedded in social media posts, emails, texts, and more
- Recognize and report phishing attempts by looking for these signs:
- Messages that are threatening or urgent with weird spacing, bad grammar, and misspellings
- An email address that has misspellings (like amazun.com or traget.com)
- Requests for personal information or for you to complete an odd business request
- Stay alert of social engineering
- Avoid accessing sensitive information or your accounts on unprotected public Wi-Fi
Let Technology Help You Protect Your Data
Accounting professionals handle a ton of personal information that hackers would love to access. It’s your responsibility to make sure they can’t. Along with following proven strategies, another powerful way is to use a document management system and client portal that allows you to securely store and share files and data online.
But not all systems are equal. You’ll need one built for your unique needs and with security in mind. This way, you and your clients can rest assured that your most valuable information is safeguarded by the strongest security measures.
Learn more cybersecurity best practices and how to choose the right technology in our new eBook, Four Ways to Increase Cybersecurity and Safeguard Data.
Built with bank-level security, SmartVault is the most secure way to store and share your documents. Schedule a 15-minute demo to see why over two million people trust SmartVault with their data.