With headlines frequently reporting high-profile cyber crime, many organizations are putting data security high on their list of priorities. Accounting firms are particularly attractive targets for data theft, as they handle a lot of sensitive client information. If you are concerned about your accounting firm becoming a victim of cyber crime, use these seven tips to keep your client data secure.
1. Review Your Data Security Policies
Don't wait until disaster strikes to think about data security. Every year, review your data security policies to ensure they can protect you from the latest cyber security threats.
2. Encrypt Your Emails
It's not wise to share sensitive financial information via email, but you can protect information in emails you send by using an encrypted email service. In addition to encrypting your own emails, you should also let your clients know that you can't guarantee the security of financial data they send to you via email. Hackers can intercept these emails before they reach you and steal data from them.
3. Secure Your Wi-Fi
Your Wi-Fi network should have a strong password and use encryption to ensure data security in your organization. If you offer a guest Wi-Fi network, keep it completely separate from your company network and let users know they shouldn't use it to share sensitive information.
4. Back Up Your Files
Ransomware and viruses can cause you to lose access to client data. Reduce your chances of experiencing data security threats by backing up all your data as often as possible.
5. Don't Forget Physical Security
It's not enough to use encryption and secure your networks with strong passwords to ensure data security. You also have to consider physical ways in which hackers could gain access to client data. Keep physical files in locked rooms or cabinets, and encourage workers to lock their computer screens when they walk away from their desks.
6. Don't Let Employees Take Client Data Home
When client data is stored in your office and on your company network, you can be sure it is safe. When employees take files home, either in physical or digital form, there is a risk of files being lost or stolen. Keep all client data in the office to ensure data security.
7. Teach Clients About Data Security
Clients have a responsibility to monitor their own data security. Let them know how to spot the early signs of identity theft by keeping an eye on their records with the business credit bureaus.
Following these tips could help you ensure your client's data security. Of course, ensuring data security is a joint effort between your accounting firm and your clients, so share these tips with your customers to improve their impact.
Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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