Do you believe your firm’s cybersecurity architecture is adequate? Don’t fret—in this post, I’ll be sharing how you can improve your accounting security and protect your firm through busy season.
Over the Course of My Career, I’ve Found That Most Accounting Security Isn’t Enough
I’ve worked with more than 450 accounting firms to evaluate their overall IT infrastructure and consistently find the same problem.
Firms managing their own IT and security are the ones taking on the most significant cybersecurity risk.
What do I mean by this? During each IT infrastructure and accounting security evaluation, I ask if the firm is:
- Providing SOC2 security guidance.
- Having IT team members spend the majority of their time focused on cybersecurity.
- Knowledgeable about how to provide remediation to clients (in the event of a cyber intrusion).
Only a handful of firms—less than 1%—can answer those questions confidently. (And those are the firms that have dedicated, experienced IT consulting companies handling their cybersecurity.)
The vast majority say they believe their internal IT personnel or their external IT support team “adequately handle” their cybersecurity.
Then, when asked:
- How much time are you spending reading about cyberthreats?
- How much time do you spend getting trained about current cyberthreats?
- What percentage of your day is dedicated to securing your firm?
…the common answer is, “little to none.”
Most of the time, we hear that internal IT people are too busy keeping the network stable and keeping partners happy.
Or, if they have an external IT group, they’re not sure what cybersecurity procedures are in place. They also don’t usually know if their external provider has the competency to protect the unique aspects of accounting firms (i.e., remote users and clients, busy season deadlines, a constant stream of tax updates, etc.).
So, what is the solution?
- Understand where you are today.
- Determine which additional security resources are necessary.
- Take action.
Identify Your Accounting Security Risk via Checklist and Webinar
An up-front understanding of which areas of your firm may need more security is critical to grasp.
This allows firm owners and staff to both understand their status and entertain solutions for bolstering their security when necessary. In most cases, the lack of experience requires a third-party security specialist or managed service provider with enterprise-class security infrastructure to respond.
To help firms identify their own cybersecurity status, we provide two types of media:
- The Cybersecurity Checklist: A literal checklist, this downloadable asset makes it easy for firms to identify if their accounting security is up to snuff. I suggest all IT personnel—whether internal or external—walk through this firm-specific checklist, as it helps identify the areas of accounting security that may need strengthening. Download The Cybersecurity Checklist.
- The Cybersecurity Checklist Essentials for Accounting Firms webinar: If you’re not comfortable evaluating which areas of your firm may need more security, attend this webinar first. In this on-demand webinar, I first explain the current threats that firms are facing—phishing, ransomware, social engineering, etc. Then, I make recommendations and provide advice on solutions and ways to minimize the risk of falling prey to hackers. Watch the webinar.
Don’t Forget About Disaster Recovery
Another common place where internal IT teams risk their accounting security is by way of—or lack thereof—a disaster recovery plan.
Firms have long underbudgeted, undermanaged and untested their backup and disaster recovery solutions…only to find that their plans are not workable when it’s too late.
This is where a comprehensive cloud solution provider comes into play. Find one who understands the unique nature of the accounting profession and has enterprise-class cybersecurity built in.
(Right Networks continues to be the only purpose-built cloud service provider focused on the accounting profession. Cloud Premier supports over 3,000 of the most popular accounting applications while providing comprehensive security and disaster recovery solutions.)
How Do You Feel About Your Accounting Security?
- Ask the three questions discussed above.
- Walk through The Cybersecurity Checklist with your internal or external IT personnel.
- Attend the accompanying cybersecurity checklist webinar.
By doing those three things, you will have a better understanding of your firm’s cybersecurity status, where you may be vulnerable and what you can do about it.
To learn more about the necessity of security solutions, visit us at rightnetworks.com/right-networks-cybersecurity-management.