Cybercrime should be at the top of the list of threats to any business, regardless of size. Accounts, who are responsible for the security of their own data as well as the financial data of their clients, need to recognize cybersecurity as a daily action item.
Because accountants are responsible for sensitive client information, they are subject to increased scrutiny and government regulation. Failure to comply with government regulations can be costly and can damage an accounting firm’s reputation. But cyber threats continue to evolve, and if IT teams don’t even know what to expect, how can an accounting professional help?
Understanding cybersecurity risks to your business and your clients
Cybersecurity is a blanket term that covers many kinds of computer threats, including ransomware, phishing scams, Distributed Denial of Service (DDos), Spoofing, and insider threats, to name just a few.
To combat cybercrime, state legislatures are introducing data security regulations that require financial service providers, including accountants, to assess their risk profile and design a program to counter that risk. The key to compliance will be emphasizing prevention as well as preparedness.
Create and implement a cybersecurity plan
To implement a cyber-threat management protocol, start with training. If your business has an in-house IT team, ask them to train your department on cybercrime best practices. If this type of training does not exist, invest in outside cybersecurity training. And remember, cybersecurity is not a “one-and-done” item, but rather is an on-going and evolving process that should be reviewed frequently to assess how your organization can improve its cybersecurity protocols.
Regularly review your cybersecurity plan and talk with your IT team to see if the technologies you have in place are adequate to meet backup and recovery requirements.
Always backup hard-drives so that if you are hit with a cyberattack, you have an option to recover data. But remember that not all backup plans are created equal. Research the needs of your organization to find the backup system that will most effectively meet your needs. Understand different security measures apply when your data is backed up on a device versus in the cloud.
Ransomware is the most common cyberattack. It is a type of malware that blocks your organization’s access to your own data until a ransom is paid to get it back. Ransomware often attacks your system through an email that might contain malicious code or a link to a malicious website.
Develop an understanding of the data risks and downtime involved if a cyberattack does occur. Create a plan for how to deal with it. Determine how a cyberattack might affect your bottom line, and develop a strategy for how you will communicate to clients if your organization suffers a cyberattack.
Protect your business with cyber liability insurance, education, and training from McGowanPRO
A cyberattack can have devastating consequences for your business. Cyber liability insurance protects against hackers and cybercriminals, and also provides coverage for human error and losses caused by employees.
McGowanPRO offers educational resources, training, and decades of experience to help protect your business from cybercrime.
We are a family-owned business with deep roots in the insurance industry. We continue to adapt to the changing needs of our clients while continuing to offer them the finest products, premiums, and customer service in the industry.
Contact us today for answers to your insurance and risk management questions.