There’s nothing quite like a payday; after a long month of nothing but sweat and fatigue and it finally pays off. But now imagine a scenario where the accounting office issues a memo stating a delay in payments of allowances due to a security breach caused by mere negligence and ignorance of the menace that is hacking.
That alone is enough to anger employees and dependents of the firm. To avoid this, accounting firms and all money handlers need to heed the below simple precautionary measures that will save them a lot of money and valuable resources.
The following are some data security tips you could implement to safeguard your company against fraud.
1. Conducting an audit of data protection services
Inviting an external auditing firm remains one of the best methods of securing your security systems and of course, ensuring that the accounting records are accurate and updated. Additionally, if you could let your customers know that you invite external auditors to ensure accountability gives them a sense of security and trust in your firm.
2. Enforcing physical security
Your personnel and the staff that you employ are the backbones of your company. Employing qualified and professional staff cannot be overemphasized; negligent staff can walk away from a workstation with files wide open and that right there is a time bomb. Other physical security measures include keeping doors locked and, letting only qualified personnel enter, cable locks on desktops and ensuring workplace tidiness, so you don’t misplace essential files.
3. Securing your Wi-Fi
Ensuring you have a strong password is more important than you think. Also, having proper security protocols over your Wi-Fi network will deter hackers and keep them at bay. Another piece of advice is that you should keep your guest network separate from the internal networks frequently used.
4. It is educating your clients about email security
Informing your clients about how emails work could come in handy. Emails once sent hit different servers before landing on the recipient server, so, if sensitive information like accounting details is not encrypted, it might end up falling into the wrong hands, and that could be harmful. So, sending emails might seem like the most convenient way, but that convenience could cost you. Have them drop the documents physically.
5. Backing up files regularly
If you should suffer a malware or virus attack, having a backup might be the only way to retrieve lost data. Of course, this is a post-hack recovery mechanism, but you never know, it might come in handy.
6. Have an SSL security
It is in the interest of an accounting firm to have an SSL certificate on your website as rising cybercrime won’t give you a chance of saving the personal information if it is transiting between your customers and a server. Moreover, the browser also shows not secure warning, if your site does not have an SSL certificate. SSL certificates are not a costly deal as many SSL providers offer huge discount.
7. Restrict employees from accessing client information on personal computers-
Having all your client information stored safely might be your best chance for keeping a brute force attack from happening. The idea of employees accessing client information on their gadgets is not exciting. Having all the data on one company database and enforcing security protocols is a better alternative.
8. Implement multi-factor authentication
Adding layers of authentication to your logins and systems is a sure-fire way to beef up your security. This a trending feature in many security systems as it’s simple and very safe. You could also add it up on your existing systems and gadgets. How this feature works is that if you input a password, you will be required to pass one or more layers of verification to ascertain that it is you. These additional layers could not go wrong.
9. Delete irrelevant data
A simple way to look at this is that bad guys can’t break into what’s not there, so don’t overload your database with unnecessary information. You can ask your clients to provide only the necessary information and leave out such information like credit card numbers and only provide them upon request. Additionally, it helps a great deal to clear out the trash and promote neatness and ease of access to information. By doing this, you will tempt hackers less and reduce the risk of an attack.
10. Update your software often
Ensuring the software used to protect your information is up to date is useful in countering attacks lodged against you by hackers. Even hacking tools evolve often, and you must keep up with the changing times. Make it a norm to usually search for updated versions and patches to ensure your security protocols are effective and are undefeated by hackers. This might seem simple, but it is beneficial.
11. Purchasing a cyber-insurance policy
This is the last result. Sometimes it is inevitable for a breach to happen because even the most sophisticated network protocols suffer attacks. If an attack should happen and data is lost or even currency, you should consider getting an insurance cover. Surprisingly, these covers are very affordable and offer timely payments should you suffer an attack. However, while getting your policy to ensure it comes with a per-approved panel of providers who will help you act when a breach occurs. Also, check to see it covers financial losses and malware claims.
As seen above, you don’t have to learn the hard way if a breach should happen. You have all the information you need in this article. Nevertheless, client safety is of paramount importance when it comes to a business. Any successful business puts the needs of the client first, thus developing a sense of belonging to your company, and as a result, happy customers will always come back with their friends. Soon you will note a steady increase in your revenue, and you will have the data security protocols to thank for it. Invest in cyber and physical security, and you will undoubtedly reap the fruits of your worthy investment.
So why not go ahead and take the first step, try it out!