30 October 2018
As October is cyber security month, I thought now was the perfect time to note down the ways in which I recommend my clients improve cyber security in their organisations.
Data breaches can be costly and have huge legal implications, as well as being highly damaging for your reputation. But the risk of a breach is everywhere, particularly if you have staff that are required to handle client data, so it’s important that you take necessary action in order to improve cyber security within your business:
1. Use email carefully
Be sure to encrypt emails that contain sensitive data, particularly those containing attachments.
It’s also important to educate your staff to be wary of unsolicited emails from prospective clients, particularly those that include attachments. Approach such emails with caution and, if someone claims to have been referred to you, check with your client first before clicking on anything within the email. If something doesn’t seem right about the sender, delete the email immediately.
2. Secure your office
Make sure that your office is physically secure. Consider implementing a ‘clean desk policy’, meaning no sensitive data can be left out. Put locks on cabinets and rooms where sensitive information is stored, and consider security training for your staff to ensure everyone is up to date.
3. Switch to the cloud
Cloud accounting is a secure way to store your company’s sensitive financial data. The main difference between the cloud and traditional desktop software is that functions are all performed offsite, rather than on the user’s actual desktop. As most cloud accounting software apps store data on a shared remote server, there is no need for a manual transference of data. All employees will have access to the same cloud database, each with an individual password. Information can be shared between anyone who has the same access rights to the system, so the risk of data being stolen by an external source is far less than when using traditional accounting systems.
There may not be a one-size-fits-all, fool proof way to protect your business against the threat of cyber security, but failing to implement the right tools will almost certainly put your organisation at risk.
If you have any questions about this blog or wish to discuss how converting to the cloud could help boost your business’ cyber security, please do not hesitate to contact me or speak to your usual UHY adviser.