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Cyber Security

Don’t Compromise on Cybersecurity: Why Accounting Firms Must Partner With a Secure BPO

Crippling data breaches continue to make headlines globally, impacting the credibility of industry-leading brands and underscoring the importance of robust cybersecurity. Accounting firms aren’t immune and must take steps to protect their firm’s reputation.

As accounting firms respond to the global talent crunch, many are seeking to enhance their capacity and efficiency through global outsourcing. Yet, navigating the transition to outsourced teams comes with new security challenges. 

This article will explain why selecting a secure BPO is non-negotiable for protecting your firm’s data – that of your clients – and how to choose the right secure BPO. 

Enterprise-Grade Protection is Essential 

When comparing the security level of BPOs for your accounting firm, it’s essential to determine whether the businesses you’re considering offer remote or in-office configurations.

Why is this important? Remote work configurations require additional security measures to secure your firm’s data.

If the BPO companies you’re considering partnering with have employees working-from-home, using their own computers, this could pose a threat to the safety of your data.  

Enterprise-grade security measures create a shield around your business data and systems, protecting against cyber threats and safeguarding sensitive information, ensuring the smooth operation of your offshore teams.

TOA Global promotes an in-office setup, offering enhanced control and ensuring enterprise-grade security.

Charles Wardzinski, TOA Global’s Executive VP of Information Technology, emphasizes TOA Global’s commitment to security:

“TOA Global’s primary focus is on ensuring that our clients have peace of mind when it comes to network and cybersecurity. Our aim is to implement security technologies supported by process and policy to protect firms who have built their offshore teams with us. We do our utmost so that security concerns will no longer hold accountants, accounting firm owners, and partners back from building high-performing offshore teams.”

Information Security Training is Non-Negotiable 

Information security solutions provider Shred-it published its Data Protection Report, which suggests that more than half of business executives who reported a data breach cited human error as the leading cause. The report highlights why it’s critical to ask potential BPO providers how they train their staff on cybersecurity procedures.

At a minimum, BPOs should deliver training on malware, phishing, password management, data breach threats, and secure document handling. 

TOA Global conducts comprehensive background checks before adding new team members, ensuring the highest standards of professionalism and ethics. Additionally, all employees complete data and cyber security training, ensuring they are well-versed in the latest security practices. TOA Global’s training organization, Ab2 Institute of Accounting, provides this training along with industry-specific skills and knowledge courses.

Don’t Overlook Physical Security 

Beyond cybersecurity, a high-quality, secure BPO will have robust physical security measures.   

TOA Global’s physical security measures include swipe card access, CCTV monitoring, on-site security guards, strict restrictions on mobile devices, clean desk policies, and personal lockers for team members, ensuring that office environments remain secure and free from unauthorized access. 

If a client requires a team member to work from home, the same computer used in the office will be delivered to the team member for use servicing their client, ensuring all equipment is under the same strict controls and information access as office-based roles.

Choose Multi-Layer Security for Maximum Protection

It’s no secret that malware and phishing scams are becoming increasingly sophisticated, so choosing a secure BPO offering multi-layered protection against threats is more critical than ever.

As Jamie Beresford, CEO of Practice Protect, says, “There’s been this movement from the spray and pray phishing scam where it’s a click here to win your prize mass mail that most people are across these days to a more targeted and sinister approach where criminals are using AI and they’re crawling your mailbox when they’ve breached it and understanding your conversation style, understanding who your payment partners are, and impersonating you and coercing people into transferring funds.”

Here’s an overview of the network security measures you can expect when you partner with TOA Global:

  • High-performing and secure network infrastructure, including next-generation firewalls and proactive monitoring to protect against network threats.
  • Team members’ computers are equipped with modern, cloud-managed anti-threat/antivirus applications, providing multi-layered protection against threats. We also enforce strict policies on software installations to prevent security vulnerabilities.
  • TOA Global’s production floors operate 24/6 across multiple time zones. While workstations may be shared, strict controls are in place to protect data and maintain security.
  • Each team member receives an individual Windows or Azure Active Directory account, ensuring profile security, even in shared workspaces.
  • Multi-factor authentication (MFA) to provide an extra layer of security for accessing accounts and sensitive information.

Planning For Business Continuity

Arson, accidents, natural disasters, or significant network failure – the effects of these potential disasters can negatively impact your business for weeks, months, or years. While it’s easier to avoid thinking about these events, a secure BPO considers all vulnerable areas and designs a plan to address critical functions and vulnerabilities so your business can keep functioning should the worst occur.

TOA Global’s Business Continuity Management (BCM) plan ensures critical processes continue during unforeseen events, including natural disasters and technology risks.

Enhancing Your Cybersecurity Knowledge

When considering a secure BPO partner, staying informed about the latest developments in accounting and cybersecurity is essential. One valuable resource is TOA Global’s on-demand cybersecurity webinar, “Security and Offshoring: Guarding Data Security in a Shifting Digital Ecosystem” which highlights the importance of collaboration between firms and offshore providers to secure client data and restrict access appropriately.

By taking advantage of educational opportunities like this webinar, you can further strengthen your understanding of cybersecurity and make well-informed decisions when choosing a secure BPO partner.

Discover Outsourced Confidence

At TOA Global, data security is a top priority, with enterprise-grade security measures to safeguard your business against digital threats, ensuring your data remains confidential and your offshore operations run smoothly.  

Build a high-performing offshore team today with total confidence, knowing your data is safe. Enhance your accounting firm’s capacity and efficiency within a secure environment. 

Request a Free Outsourcing Strategy now. 

We’ll call you at your selected time to discuss your key pain points and develop a customized offshoring solution aligned with your unique staffing needs, processes, technology, challenges and goals.

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