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Cybersecurity For Accountants: 6 Ways To Avoid Being A Target

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According to data obtained by the Australia Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) through its 2017 Threat Report, 47,000 major cyber security (a 15% increase from the previous year) attacks occurred during the past financial year.

Accountants Are Attractive Targets To Security Breach

  • Put client confidential data at risk of identity theft
  • Loss of profit
  • Increased cost of protection against future attacks
  • Damage the firm’s reputation
  • Lose client’s trust which can eventually lead to loss of business

How To Improve Your Cyber Security?

  • Start with the simplest: use the right passwords. Use 15-digit passwords because this is the threshold for algorithms to have the most difficulty cracking and make sure to use a phrase that you know. It’s easier than having to remember a random combination of letters and numbers. Plus, computers would have a hard time cracking codes like this.
  • Assess your current network defence system. Check sensitive information you have at hand and see who has access to it. Set control measures to secure your firm’s data.
  • Be more conscientious of your computer habits: don’t click on email links from sources you don’t know, automate systems like document acquisition so you don’t have to resort to email and make sure your email is always encrypted.
  • Get professional help. Hire an IT consultant to establish a reliable network that will ensure your data is encrypted and protected against hackers.
  • Prioritise continuous cybersecurity assessment. Perform periodic checks to identify areas that might be susceptible to security breach whenever your firm changes networks (i.e. adding a router or replacing a server).
  • Train your employees. Educating employees about cyber attacks is crucial in ensuring your firm is safe from attacks. Human error is one factor in security breaches, so minimise the risks by making sure your team is aware of the best practices when dealing with data.