Cybersecurity Services For Miami Accounting & CPA Firms
From China to Ireland to the United States, the accounting and financial services industry has become a top target for cybercriminals. As cybercrime continues to wreak havoc across the globe, it seems that no city is immune to cyber threats – not even The Magic City.
With the average cost of a data breach exceeding $5 million for firms in the financial sector, there is more reason than ever for accounting and CPA firms to invest in cybersecurity services. As Florida’s second most populous city, Miami is home to nearly 400 of the nation’s 138,000 accounting firms. For Miami-Dade’s financial services industry to continue to grow, top-quality cybersecurity services for Miami Accounting & CPA Firms are a must. Below is a look at the top cybersecurity threats to Miami accounting and CPA firms and the top way to protect your business.
Why Do Miami Accounting & CPA Firms Need Cybersecurity Services?
While cybercrime has existed in Miami since Cybersecurity proper began in 1972, cyberthreats really did not begin to multiply and diversify until after 2000. In 2014, Cyber Florida was established by the state legislature to “position Florida and its related workforce as a national leader in cybersecurity through education, research, and community engagement.”
Despite valiant efforts by Cyber Florida and Miami-Dade County, Miami accounting and CPA firms are at greater risk than ever for cybercrime. Here are the top three reasons why Miami accounting agencies and CPA firms should invest in top-quality cybersecurity services.
Florida Ranks #2 For Cybercrime
“Florida must recognize its role as the home of U.S. cybercrime and initiate a public-private partnership to thwart these attacks. South Florida’s high cybercrime rate requires strategic response.” – Miami Herald Leader
With nearly $300 million lost to cybercrime and 54,000 complaints filed, Florida ranks as one of the leading states for cybercrime. As Florida’s second most populous city, Miami is at increased risk for cybercrime. In fact, Miami-Dade’s Special Investigations Division is now responsible for combating cybercrime, highlighting the seriousness of the problem.
South Florida Cybercrime Often Involves Financial Accounts Or Tax Returns
“The conspirators…fraudulently opened and used numerous financial accounts in the names of identity theft victims…In addition, they used the names and Social Security numbers of identity theft victims to file fraudulent tax returns and obtain tax refunds to which they were not entitled.” – Department of Justice, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Middle District of Florida
Accountants and CPAs are at increased risk for involvement in cyber crimes because they prepare taxes and oversee financial accounts. One of South Florida’s worst incidents of cybercrime involved two Miami conspirators who stole the personal information of thousands of victims. The cyberthieves used the information to open financial accounts and file fraudulent tax returns in order to secure tax refunds illegally.
The AICPA And AAA Recommend A Strong Cybersecurity Strategy
“The need for cybersecurity knowledge is no longer the sole responsibility of IT professionals. Global finance and accounting professionals in business and industry and public practice all have unique and vital roles.” – AICPA
Organizations such as the American Institute for Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the American Accounting Association (AAA) are ramping up their focus on cybersecurity. With cyberthreats on the rise in the financial services sector, the AICPA is now offering cybersecurity certificates while the AAA is now incorporating cybersecurity training into their training bootcamps.
How Can You Help Protect your Accounting Or CPA Firm From Cybersecurity Threats?
“Doing nothing is always an option for those who wish to to play Russian roulette with their businesses.”
– Steve Wertheim, CPA, Author at The CPA Journal
The Journal of Accountancy and CPA Insider list malware, ransomware, phishing expeditions, and data theft as the top cybersecurity threats to accounting and CPA firms. To reduce your accounting firm’s chances of falling prey to one of these cybercrimes, you can introduce the measures below:
- Provide security awareness training to educate employees about common cyber threats like malware, phishing, and data theft.
- Build, test, and update a sound incident response plan to guide employees on the best way to report cyber threats.
- Develop a good backup strategy that is physically removed from your main office or headquarters.
- Migrate to multifactor authentication to make it more challenging for hackers to access your network.
- Implement separation of duties to ensure confidential data is only accessible to employees who must have it to do their jobs.
- Revise your policies and procedures regarding client data collection and storage to eliminate potential loopholes.
In addition to these steps, industry experts suggest contacting a third-party organization to provide an annual cybersecurity assessment or risk management assessment. This measure will help identify opportunities for improvement and make sure your firm’s policies and procedures are current.
What Is The Most Effective Way To Protect Your Miami Accounting or CPA Firm From Cybercrime?
Whether your organization specializes in tax preparation, bookkeeping, payroll services, or all of the above, it is up to you to protect your employees and clients from the destructive effects of cybercrime. If you lack a cybersecurity plan, then it’s vital to follow the steps above and map out a strategic plan.
The most effective way to protect your employees and clients from online threats is to seek cybersecurity services for Miami Accounting & CPA Firms. We invite you to contact us at 4it to schedule a consultation with one of our cybersecurity experts. During your meeting, we will discuss some of the following ways we can help your firm create a robust cybersecurity plan:
- Explain the specific cybersecurity threats impacting South Florida Accounting Firms
- Conduct a Risk Management Assessment (RMA) to identify hazards that could impact CPAs, accountants, and bookkeepers
- Create a bulletproof cybersecurity plan for your Accounting or CPA Firm
- Develop policies and procedures to boost compliance with best practices
- Review the benefits Managed IT Services can bring to your Accounting Agency or CPA Firm
Reach out to us today to discover how 4it’s 5-Star cybersecurity services can help your accounting firm thrive with confidence. We look forward to helping your organization become a model of cybersecurity excellence in South Florida’s financial services industry!
Thanks to the team at 4BIS.COM for their help with this research. Discover more about them on their website.