It’s no secret that certified public accountants (CPAs) house a trove of financial information on their clients – and that is exactly the problem. All that sensitive data is just waiting to be stolen by crafty cyber crooks. Thankfully, CPAs can protect their businesses, their clients and themselves by following a few practical security tips. Couple this with CPA cyber insurance to protect yourself against financial liabilities due to cyberattack or data breach and you’ve got yourself a robust defense plan.
Hide Your Data: First thing’s first, you’ll need to think about where you are storing your most sensitive data. Your best options are to either save it to on-premise server or storage container that is inaccessible to external users, or by investing in an encrypted cloud service monitored for suspicious activity.
Keep Thing Encrypted: It’s also helpful to hash and salt the data itself. This is a simple form of encryption that obscures things like Social Security numbers with little black dots (much like what happens when you type in password). This way, even if your storage is breached, hackers won’t be able to make sense of the information contained.
Stay Suspicious: Social engineering is a common scam in which a hacker pretends to be someone else in hopes of gaining private information. This could be a phony email from a client requesting you send sensitive documents or a bogus warning from your bank asking that you share your password. No matter what the case may be, it’s important that you understand the warning signs and never share anything you shouldn’t over email.
Follow Proper Password Protocol: Passphrases are often the only gatekeeping method shunning hackers from accessing an account or service. Therefore, it is vital that you use strong and unique passwords for all your accounts. Take things to the next level by adopting a password manager and utilizing multi-factor authentication.
Whitelist Specific Applications: Truth be told, not all apps are created equally. This is especially true of security features. Do yourself a favor and whitelist the apps you use and trust and blacklist unfamiliar or untested applications. Rampant apps can increase the number of entry points for hackers, which is bad news for CPAs.
Train Your Users: This next tip is “the most critical piece of all” according to CPA Practice Advisor, and we couldn’t agree more. Training users within your organization to follow these same protocols will do wonders for your cybersecurity since hackers usually prefer easy targets.
Talk It Out: Talk with other CPAs to find out what problems they have experienced and how they overcame these issues.
Stay Current: It never hurts to read about the latest cybersecurity news to find out about the current threats plaguing your industry.
Invest in CPA Cyber Insurance: As mentioned before, cyber insurance for CPAs is a key component in a robust cyber defense plan. If you don’t have an insurance provider or don’t know how to find one, you can visit CyberPolicy. We are more than happy to set you up with a policy provider fit to your needs and your budget.
So, what are you waiting for? Visit CyberPolicy today!