8th September 2020

Cyber security

Accountants Are a Prime Target for Cyber Attacks – Are You Protected?

Accountants Cyber Security

Some industries are more likely to be hit by a cyber attack – accountancy is one of them. Why? Because you hold detailed personal data for each and every client – and that makes you a prime target. Instead of going for dozens of people separately, hackers just go for you. And the chain doesn’t stop there. If they have your clients’ details, the likelihood is that they could access their clients’ details too. Hackers are incredibly astute and know how to make money easily.

We’re currently seeing the number of cyber attacks soar, as cyber criminals take full advantage of the changes in working environments during the Covid pandemic. Some companies are still operating from home, some are back in the office, and some are running with a mixture of both.

In times where we all need to be more flexible, more responsive and more resilient, the linchpin to keeping your business going is having the correct technology and security.

But I trust my staff to take cyber security seriously...

While you may trust your staff implicitly, and while restrictions are easing, life is in no way back to normal. Your employees will still be feeling the pressure of juggling work and family life and, when people are under pressure, they make mistakes. Add to this the fact that they may be using personal devices for work that don’t offer the same protection as company machines. We’ve even heard stories of employees carrying desktop computers in and out of their offices to enable them to work. All of this creates pockets of weakness for your cyber security and can leave your company at significant risk.

What’s the minimum cyber security accountancy firms should have?

Here at Somerbys IT, we like to sit down with clients and work out the package that is right for them, as we don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all approach. We also don’t want you to be paying for things you don’t need. But we have two questions for you:

Do you have multi-factor authentication on email?

The majority of people don’t. They have it for their bank account, but not their emails. This is an absolute must and involves nothing more than a second device such as your phone or a key fob to generate another password as an extra layer of protection. So, even if a hacker has your email password, they won’t be able to access your account without that second device – which you have on your person.

A shocking 90% of cyber attacks come via email. Gaining access to emails is more often than not the starting point for a hack. So the more you can protect them, the better.

Do you have a cloud-based backup?

Most people presume that Microsoft backs up data on systems such as Office 365. It does not. Without a cloud-based backup system, you are at risk of data being lost and unrecoverable in the event of a cyber attack.

These are just two basic steps you can take to make sure your accountancy firm is more protected, but there are many more that could, and should, be taken.

Cyber security is an extra expense when times are tough...

Yes, there is a cost involved. But you need to think of cyber security as insurance. Why wouldn’t you protect your business from cyber attacks like you protect your home from burglary? If your cyber security package protects you from one hack in all the time you have it, it’ll have paid for itself five-, ten-, fifteen- ...let’s just say manyfold. The alternative is a hacker obtaining client data, which leads to:

● The data being encrypted by ransomware

● You being faced with paying the ransom or losing the data forever

● A breach in GDPR that has to be reported to the relevant supervisory authority

● Loss of client trust and a ruined reputation

● And, possibly… the loss of your business

The result? All the ambition and effort you’ve put into building a successful business amounting to nothing. For the sake of a few pounds a month, is it really worth risking that?

We’ve been working with accountants for years now and we’d love the opportunity to keep you, your business and your clients better protected. If you’d like to know more, our helpful and friendly team will be more than happy to chat everything through with you. Get in touch, and protected, today.