Firms need to increase cybersecurity initiatives
February 18, 2014

Many accounting firm leaders think that their businesses aren't on hackers' radars and it can be a big surprise when a startup is hacked. To prevent these instances from occurring, administrators need to make sure they have an iron-clad security policy in place far before an attack is even attempted. Taking a proactive approach in these situations is best, because hackers are constantly coming up with new ways to breach a system.

There are steps that accountants need to take to make sure they are as cybersecure as possible before a breach is attempted, and various factors and elements that should be adhered to across the company.

Employees need to be aware
Having great protections and a strong policy in place won't be any help if each and every worker at the company isn't completely sure about what's included in the regulations regarding breach avoidance. According to Entrepreneur, administrators need to be educated about policies, because lack of knowledge in this field is one of the biggest security problems. What if a worker were to override the protections by accident and place the whole operation in jeopardy?

The magazine suggested not only keeping the security plan up to date, but having written copies available for all employees. The source said that accountants and bookkeepers should also be consulted about their habits and spoken to about using personal devices to access company information.

Educating and training employees on new policies is extremely crucial to keep an accounting firm's network safe from criminals. All firm workers have to be on board with best practices for passwords, internet use and handling information, among other factors.

Encryption needed
There should be no argument at accounting firms - crucial data needs to be encrypted, period. Justin Freeman, corporate  counsel at IT company Rackspace, told Entrepreneur that at some point, hackers will likely get into the system. But owners can make sure that sensitive data isn't affected or lost by encrypting it in an unreadable code.

Accountants who need to stay connected remotely and want to ensure their (and their clients') data is protected should look to use cloud-based software like Sage One Accountant Edition which ensures that data communicated between the client and the server are encrypted via SSL.

Nexus: G-WEBCD5