Stamping Out Possibilities of Cyber-Attack at Your Accounting Firm

When is it that people consider burglar alarms for the safety of their assets? A majority after they have been broken into, of course, in much the same way we only consider Vitamin pills after we’ve caught a common cold or only begin to exercise precautions after we suffer some illness.

Though, by then, it’s already been too late.

Closing the barn door after the horse has escaped is a natural human reaction, but there’s surely a reason for the phrase being so popular- “Precaution is better than cure.” We’d all be far better served to be proactive rather than reactive by prioritizing prevention over cure.

There are a few better examples in cybersecurity, where business owners, CPAs, and accounting firms have plenty of work to do— and certainly an opportunity to benefit from other people’s tendency to perceive, “Cyberattacks cannot happen here.”

If news of attacks and server hacks at organizations like Target, Booking.com or even the IRS were not enough to convince you for the need to address cybersecurity issues, then hopefully, the recent news of a malware attack at Wolters Kluwer, a global information services company, that left thousands of accountants, CPAs, and tax professionals without access to the important tools on the evening of a major tax filing deadline, will surely bring home the fact that everyone, including you, need to address this issue seriously.

Now, if you still think that you have a small business and just because of the size of it you would remain immune, think again, as the cost to launch these attacks is negligible and every organization, whether small or big, are just as likely to be targeted by malware, ransomware, phishing attacks, and such cyber issues . And if you do not practice caution, it can be as harmful to your clients like it is for you. If you won’t like to take these steps for yourself, we strongly suggest you do it for your clients and the profits you are going to make by doing so.

As much as there is a need to exercise caution from your side, it is for your clients as well, who can ill afford to have their important information held hostage or systems hijacked. All businesses are subject to the same risks as you are, the difference is many would gladly pay for the advice on how to immune themselves from this rising matter of concern.

Some would even argue that they are not into taxes, or IT, or technology consultancy, but the most common services that accounting firms offer look a great deal like policies and systems, testing processes, compliance services, against the established frameworks like those of the American Institute of CPAs.

With a growing number of states and jurisdictions mandating data security, privacy and breach response requirements such as the European Union’s GDPR regime, cybersecurity is drifting towards being more of a regulatory compliance issue. That is not to say you cannot explore more of the technology-intensive services, but you do not have to go that deep to help your clients.

Whatever be the step you decide to take, you should probably take it urgently. For one thing, a majority of other accounting and bookkeeping service providers are getting involved. And its time you should too. Hackers never rest. The sooner you decide to act on addressing cybersecurity concerns, the better for you and your clients.

Bikham Finance offers excellent outsourced accounting and bookkeeping services as well as advice on addressing technology issues in accounting for CPAs and business owners. To know more about our CFO services, contact our helpline now.

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