Over the past year we saw a record-breaking high of 1,579 data breaches, as such accounting firm leadership around the world have security vulnerabilities first on their agenda.
But when practices across the globe collect and store both firm and client data, how can you be sure your organization won’t be next? In short, protecting against a data breach requires a significant amount of planning and resources. If you don’t know where to begin, we suggest that you first understand the top three security vulnerabilities that every accounting firm innately has:
1. Sensitive data is a target for hackers and malware
In 2017, we saw an almost 300% growth in global ransomware, which is malicious software that takes control of your computer until you “ransom” your data from the hacker that attacks the technology infrastructure of businesses of any size. Between attacks on Equifax (145 million people), Uber (57 million people), WannaCry (300,000 systems around the world) and Yahoo (3 billion accounts), it’s clear the threat of hackers and malware on sensitive data is only growing.
To avoid being the next victim, it’s critical that organizations stay on top of all operating system patches, including patches on software or apps that store data, like Google Chrome. We also encourage organizations to utilize endpoint antivirus applications that have the ability to communicate with edge network devices (firewalls/network). This will limit the inconsistency in the security of different devices and make it more difficult for hackers to find a vulnerability.