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How to Protect Your Client’s Data

June 28, 2018 by OSYB Staff

Tips for Data Protection

Data breaches are far too common and all business entities own the responsibility for protecting client data.  Client data protection is both an ethical and legal obligation.   Accounting firms store extremely valuable client data and consequentially are potential targets of cyber attacks.  Cyber security should be top priority and Accounting Today shares 3 top actions to start with:

  1. Heavily protect your credentials – Protecting credentials used to access  sensitive client data is a top security priority.  Credentials should never be reused or shared.  “As the IRS states, “Don’t take the bait.” Once you do and someone else has your credentials, no software or hardware company can assist in protecting you. The “bad actors” may have full access to your systems and data.”
  2. Properly secure Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) – If you have remote workers, you most likely have Remote Desktop Protocol.  RDP has great benefits as it expands your work pool, however, it can be a security breach if not appropriately secured.   “If your firm uses RDP, make sure that, at a minimum, a) all systems, whether desktop, laptop or network, apply Microsoft patches immediately upon release, and b) you use a VPN in conjunction with the RDP. Without the use of a VPN, RDP may significantly increase your security risk.”
  3. Implement multi-factor authentication – Multi-factor authentication is a process by which a provider of confidental information authenticates that a user is the legitimate user by requesting a second, and more secure, form of identity validation.

These 3 actions are great places to start with but to stay ahead of cyber threats, it is imperative that you consult regularly with an  IT Cybersecurity professional, as you know cyber threats are constantly evolving.  It would be prudent to also intermittently review your firm’s security practices with your legal counsel.

For details:  Top 3 ways accounting firms can protect client data

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