Accounting firms are sitting on the goldmine of data such as financial records, social security numbers, credit card details, and other confidential information of their clients. This makes accountancy firms a hot target for hackers looking to cash in on the vulnerable security systems of the accounting industry.
This is because offering financial advice and keeping financial health in view are the primary concerns of accountants. However, ACCA says that maintaining the security of clients data is also one of the core focus areas that accounting firms need to take into account.
For accounting firms looking to earn a reputation and effectively serve their clients, security protocols must be in place. But what to do if your firm has faced a data breach? Here are some measures that professional accountants immediately take post a data breach.
Identify the Breach
The first thing to do when an accounting firm finds out about a data breach is to identify the source of the leak. An employee clicking on a phishing link, an off-boarded employee with malicious intent, or a potential malware downloaded on one of the systems can cause a data breach. The first thing to do is to identify the source of the breach and contain it.
Inform the Authorities
According to various regulatory authorities, failing to protect clients’ confidential data can result in hefty fines (up to four percent of annual revenue). Therefore, informing authorities of the data breach should be the next step for accounting firms to comply with the code and keep themselves safe from legal actions.
Contain the Breach
Another crucial step is to contain the breach by disconnecting the servers or switching to alternate networks. By doing this, you can prevent the spread of cyber attacks and protect the heaps of data exposed to hackers.
Rethink Your Strategy
If your firm is relying on old data storage methods such as physical servers or computer programs, it’s time to rethink your strategy. Consider migrating to cloud-based accounting software that is securer, agile, and multilayered security.
Stick to Role-Based Access
Secure online portals have a primary feature of role-based access that reduces the risks of data breaches. Further, the one platform for all accounting practice management needs makes it easier for security measures to be effectively implemented.