Accountants deal with the most important data of business every day and that too in a very large amount. Whether it is daily bookkeeping practices or creating invoices, accountants have the access to the most valuable data of the company and that’s why they are targeted the most by the cybercriminals from all around the world.
The technology has blessed accountants in many ways, making their job easier and more efficient, but the same technology is also misused by many evil-minded people for illegal purposes and while getting more and more familiar with the technology, the accountants should also be aware about the cyber threats so that instead of waking up one day with all their data in the hands of a hacker, they can better be prepared for it.
So, in this blog post, we will be looking at some of the security threats about which every accountant should be aware of.
Day by day, hackers are getting smarter with their targeting techniques. The very popular method of targeting which is phishing has been modernized in various ways so that the hackers can get better results. According to the latest report of PhishMe’s Enterprise Phishing Resliency and Defence Report, the phishing has grown to 65% in the last year. And according to Webroot Threat Report, almost 1.5 million phishing sites are created each month.
With more targeted and believable phishing emails to employee and executive, the hackers are getting accountants to click on more phishing mails. The latest example of a more targeted and believable phishing mail is as follows:-
The hackers will send a phishing email from the address of a friend you know, a customer or a business which you use or are in contact with on a frequent basis. The main goal of a person sending phishing emails is to collect the password, credit card information or important business data.
To avoid such phishing emails, you should make a clear policy of not clicking on unknown emails in your firm. Following such strict protocols against phishing or making your accountants aware about such emails is the only way to avoid cyberattacks.
Compliance with cyber security policies
Rules are very much important for making our civilization, civil and therefore you should be well aware of the things which you should never do in your life like stealing from others, damaging someone’s property or installing an unknown third party software from an unreliable source.
You might be thinking that the last point is quite simple, but you should also know that this is the most overlooked point when it comes to security. Some of the most overlooked security policies by accountants are singing into personal social media accounts, emailing important data from a home device or connecting company’s device to unknown networks.
According to the study of Accenture, the cost of damage due to cyberattacks is highest in the case of financial firms. So with more people targeting financial firms and accountant because they have more important data, as an accountant, you should follow or implement compliance with cyber security policies, doesn’t matter how common it looks.
The Quick Heal company, recently said that it has detected almost three million cryptojacking hits between January and March 2018. The year 2017 is better known for the development of ransomware while the year 2018 has witnessed the growth of cryptojacking and it will soon become a bigger threat than the ransomware.
In both the ways, the crypto mining code keeps running in the background while the user keeps on working normally without having any idea of his cryptocurrencies being mined.
All the accountants using the cryptocurrencies need to ensure that their cryptocurrencies cannot be mined through unauthorized use of employee’s computer. Along with that, the financial firm should also have a backup plan to recover after being attacked with cryptojacking.
Your own employees
You might be making plans for each and every type of security threats which are external while your own employee can act as the bad actor for you and can steal your most sensitive data. Such practices are on the rise and currently being known as Insider Data Theft.
According to the reports of Biscom, it has been found that almost 85 percent of the employees have admitted to taking company’s document while 30 percent employees admitted that they took the data and files which they not created.
With such alarming figures of employees taking data with them while leaving the company or even while continuing the company, you should always take proper precaution for avoiding such incidents.
You should use encryption on laptops, emails and other devices, and encrypt all sensitive data. Along with that you should use password protection for all business computers and while giving access on important projects to your employees, you should restrict them to their area of working by making sensitive data unavailable to them.
As an accountant you hold the most valuable data of a company and therefore you should be well aware of the security threats which can make you vulnerable. Being technologically advance in your work is not only about productivity, speed and efficiency, but it is also about giving your best while being secured.