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Improving Cybersecurity in Accounting

Posted In Security - By Techtiplib on Thursday, May 22nd, 2014 With No Comments »

The BYOD trend coupled with cloud-based software and a myriad of cyber threats combine to make cybersecurity a pressing matter for accounting. For example, in the past, ledgers and payroll data were typically stored in locked cabinets inside locked offices. Then they moved to software-based systems which were protected by passwords, and again, locked offices. Today, much of that data is stored online and accessed via mobile apps and web browsers. An employee may use his or her smartphone while at the local coffeehouse to run a report or process payroll.

Improving Cybersecurity in Accounting

What happens if the Wi-Fi at that coffeehouse isn’t secure? What if someone steals the smartphone? What if an employee works from home on a personal computer infected with spyware? Your data is at risk!

Recommended reading: 5 Things the C-Suite Must Do to Oversee Cyber Security

Use the tips below to start improving cyber security in accounting:

Addresses BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) – Employees regularly bring their smartphones and tablets to work; will you allow them to use them for work purposes? If so, how will you ensure that sensitive data remains private and secure?

  • Work with IT – You need to ensure that your accounting department is proactively protected from threats no matter where data resides or where it is accessed from.
  • Prevent data copying – Implement security measures that prevent data from being copied to USB sticks or otherwise inappropriately shared.
  • Use user permissions and roles – File clerks and CPAs have different job roles and different data needs. Make sure that each employee has a defined user role with appropriate permissions – and nothing more.
  • Secure check writing – Use secure check printing software, MICR toner, and blank security checks to ensure the integrity of your check writing process. Using a locking printer tray and implementing a two-person check writing procedure can also improve the security of your company’s check writing.
  • Teach security awareness – One of the most common threats arrives in the form of a fake but realistic-looking email message. The message may look like it’s from your bank, insurance company, a shipping carrier, or a government agency. It may prompt you to login to your account or click an attachment for more information. When you do, you’ve either revealed your credentials or loaded malware into your system! Article should read: Cyber attacks cost unprotected small businesses thousands

Have you secured your accounting department from the latest threats? The time to start is now!

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