Accountants routinely deal with high-value data that hackers may steal for quick financial gain. They’re popular targets often considered easy pickings for their presumed lack of technical prowess. However, just like everyone else, accounting firms and departments need to make digital security and privacy a core part of their daily routines. Here are four things they must do to make that happen:
#1. Implement multi-factor authentication
Passwords have been a central component of digital security ever since, well, computers were invented. The problem is that passwords can be stolen through various social engineering scams like phishing in which hackers dupe unsuspecting victims into giving away such information. Simpler passwords can even be cracked in mere seconds by means of brute force attacks where the hacker tries every possible combination until it gets the right one.
#2. Keep software up-to-date
Many accountants are still running dated in-house systems running operating systems and accounting software that’s long since been forgotten by its original developers. Not only does this add unnecessary time and costs to the daily routines of your employees, but it also opens up a raft of potential security vulnerabilities.
#3. Train employees regularly
As soon as a data breach occurs, people usually start blaming technology. However, careless employees are usually to blame in the end. That’s because hackers are always looking for the path of least resistance, and that path usually takes the form of human ignorance.
#4. Centralize device management
Being an accountant no longer means sitting for hours on end in front of a screen in a cubicle farm. Thanks to the unprecedented rise of mobile devices, cloud computing, and ubiquitous internet connectivity, we’ve now entered the age of the mobile workforce. However, while the benefits of workforce mobility are without question, enrolling portable devices like employee-owned smartphones and laptops into the technology mix greatly increases attack surfaces.
Today, business operations often rely on a fleet comprising employee- and company-owned devices. As the number of devices and data-baring systems rises, it’s becoming increasingly challenging to keep track of everything. That’s why businesses need to centralize device management by using a web-based dashboard that allows them to easily keep track of all devices used for work and maintain complete visibility into confidential data in their care.