Why You Should Consider Hiring Cybersecurity Services for Miami Accounting Firms
Accounting firms are growing increasingly concerned about the rising data breaches in their firms and those of their clients. According to Forbes.com, 2020 and 2021 broke the records in the number of cyber attacks on institutions and individuals. In another study, Deep Instinct recorded that malware attacks increased by over 300% in 2020 alone. Such volumes portray a worrying trend for the industry, and rightfully so, CPAs should lead in instituting measures to protect against cybercrimes.
Cybercriminals usually look for weaknesses in the systems and use it as an entry point to steal information and hold it for ransom or sell it to fraudsters. Stolen and brute-force-related password attacks are one of the leading causes of security vulnerabilities.
What is Cybersecurity?
Cybersecurity is an umbrella term for the technologies and strategies used to defend computing devices and computer networks from malicious attacks. Destructive criminals lurk everywhere on the internet, looking for loopholes to launch harmful software or steal sensitive information. The technologies used to attack organizations are evolving rapidly, needing continuous familiarization with threats facing the business.
Types of Cyber Threats
Cyber-attacks may hit your business hard, and yet a few of them might go unnoticed. Cybercriminals are always looking to pounce on security flaws on your network to launch their attacks. As anyone can fall victim, it’s good to know the types of cyber threats that could bring down your operations. 4it has a list of potentially dangerous security breaches you might want to prevent.
Malware is deceptive software that launches into your computer network when a user clicks on a link or attachment from the internet. Once it activates, it will install harmful programs, block access to your network, or transmit sensitive data to criminals.
Man-in-the-middle attacks happen when they intercept communications on the internet. Attackers sit between your network and external connections to steal data.
In phishing attacks, hackers create fake websites or use fake emails to lure you into sharing sensitive information. Their main goal is to steal critical data like login passwords and credit card details.
Denial of service
Denial of service (DoS) attacks happen when hackers flood your computer network with malware, making it unable to respond to requests. Distributed denial of service (DDoS) works the same, but it’s usually spread over multiple networks of different organizations.
Injection attacks (SQL injection)
It usually involves writing SQL code to alter databases running on an SQL server.
Hackers can also try to breach your security using brute-force attacks, keylogger attacks, credential stuffing, password spraying, and keylogger attacks.
Why Should Miami Accounting Firms Care About Cybersecurity?
Many small business owners tend to believe that their organizations are not targets of cyber attacks. A recent report by Accenture suggests otherwise, showing that over 40% of cybercrimes were targeted at SMEs. Besides, small businesses hardly ever get any press unless they form part of the statistics during a massive attack.
There is a thinning line between work and personal space as more people shift to remote work. Expansion of technologies that allow accountants to synchronize their mobile devices with work computers exposes the organization to vulnerabilities. Home networks and public wifi are usually the most vulnerable. Business owners need to take extra steps to educate employees on security best practices while away from the office.
CPAs need to leverage new technologies to remain competitive. As they decide to invest in the latest software or hardware infrastructure, they must back it up with a solid security strategy. Adding extra features or functions to a system often adds vulnerabilities, and companies should consult cybersecurity experts who already have experience dealing with threats.
Accounting firms deal with sensitive customer information. It would be disastrous for business if cybercriminals were to attack the network and ransom the data. In an era when data protection laws are taking center stage, strong prevention systems are almost inevitable.
Securing a small business should not be any different from large businesses. If the complex process of developing a cybersecurity program seems out of reach, business owners can outsource to cybersecurity consultants.
Best Practices – How to Build a Solid Cybersecurity Plan for Your Accountancy
Cybersecurity remediation policies would be pointless without a comprehensive business needs assessment. It will help you make a proper plan of how to secure your assets from cyber risks. It is always good to start with a cybersecurity policy addressing your business needs and guiding how your business operations evolve.
The responsible teams should be proactive and move to compliance to invest in effective detection, prevention, and resolution strategies. A proper plan should start from simple remedies like taking back-ups frequently to high-level solutions like 5-year risk strategies. A few best practices to secure your computing environment would include:
Passwords secure your systems from unauthorized access. Of the many cyber risks facing organizations, passwords are the easiest entry point. To secure your organization, enforce strong password policies and use multi-factor authentication.
Back up your data
Data backups ensure business continuity when an attack cripples your live data system. Implement a regular backup system and store the copies on separate servers.
The majority of attacks arise from errors of omission or commission by employees. Adopt frequent security awareness training to ensure your employees are up to date with cybersecurity trends. Cloud services come as an ideal option, as they’re hosted in remote locations.
Aside from these tips, you will need to set up efficient monitoring and audit your systems continuously. A cybersecurity professional will come in with better solutions for such advanced operations.
Let 4it Help You With Cybersecurity Services for Miami Accounting Firms
4it is a leading firm in Cybersecurity and IT support. We work with professional organizations in Miami and Fort Lauderdale, giving them outsourced solutions to maximize their business potential. Cybersecurity for Miami accounting firms has been our strength for years. We have other services including:
- Supporting enterprise accounting systems
- Secure cloud computing and data storage solutions for CPAs
- Designing cybersecurity policies and strategies for accounting professionals
- Cyber risk assessment and stress testing
- Managed IT services for accountants
If you have any pressing IT issues you need to solve, contact our office for quick solutions.
Thanks to Holden Watne with Generation IX in LA for his help with this article.