3 tips for securing sensitive client information
March 10, 2015

These days, everyone seems to be online. The world of accounting has long been a proactive user of computers and various software suites that streamline processes and make client information easily accessible and manageable in an office environment. However, while you've been hard at work and serving the community with their tax and accounting needs, hackers have been busy finding ways to access company databases.

While there are many tricky methods for cybercriminals to infiltrate seemingly secure offices, you can be proactive in data defense by following these tips:

Test the defenses
Purchasing and deploying safety measures are only half the battle. In order to know just how secure the system is, Andy Obuchowski, director of privacy and security of McGladrey, writing for the Boston Business Journal, asserted that security systems should be tested to see if there are any potential weak spots. It's better to have a third party recognize technical flaws than for an unsolicited hacker to find the weak spots instead. 

Use secure networks only
While it is important to have separate work and home lives, sometimes the office and its various needs can follow you everywhere. If client data needs to be accessed outside of the secure network, the Wi-Fi connections should be password protected at the very least. Even then, public networks with layers of security are still open to risks by unwanted guests accessing your files. Be careful while traveling, as mobile businessmen and women could also possibly access questionable Wi-Fi networks while out of their country.

Employ safe practices
While this might seem like a no-brainer, it's important to note that hackers are constantly refining the way they gain access to even the most secure data systems. Kaspersky warned against tricks that are supposed to draw victims in via social engineering, reported ITBusinessEdge. Phishing emails that once seemed very obvious to the trained eye are now much more innocuous looking and can be hard to spot. Encourage employees to be smart while using the Internet. It might even be a prudent idea to educate team members on safe online practices. Even the most seasoned computer users could use a refresher course to stay ahead of cybercriminals. 

Accountants deal with personal information all day long and are the paragons of propriety, but not everyone follows the same example. Just as it's important to keep up with the most efficient accounting software and practices, it's equally as imperative to protect the clients that keep business running by securing their personal data. 

Nexus: G-WEBCD5