Managed service providers

5 Cyber Security Predictions in CPA Firms for 2017

June 9, 2017

Cyber crime is real and it’s heading your way. Look at what’s happening to these accounting firms around the nation:

  • February 2016, the IRS reported a data breach of more 724,000 accounts.
  • July 11, 2016, Stallcup & Associates, CPAs were attacked with a ransomware virus. The attack was stopped after one hour.
  • August 15, 2016, Wheeler & Egger, CPAs, LLP reported a cyber attack on client tax returns from 2015. The hacker entered their server and filed 45 fraudulent tax returns.

While these were some of the more publicized events hackers were bragging about last year, it is important for CPA firms to understand the very real risks of cyber attacks.

Keep up with cybersecurity news:

Predicting the Next Cyber Attack

CPAs are taking notice of these and other data breaches. The American Institute of CPAs has launched their new Cybersecurity Resource Center to help accountants begin to counteract the threat.

The Journal of Accountancy suggests that, in addition to taking steps toward protecting your firm’s data, CPAs can provide counsel to clients or organizations that are developing steps to counteract cyber terrorism. You are, in effect, the canary in the coal mine when it comes to controlling access to your client’s data. CPAs also develop the budgets for adding cyber security measures for their clients.

As the threat grows, the team at TOSS C3 has compiled five key security precautions that you should consider now – before you fall victim to a cyber attack:

  1. Recognize the risk. When it comes to cybercrime, there is a sense in the business world that it just can’t happen to them. This is an attitude that can make corporate leaders vulnerable. Your business is never too small to be at risk.
  2. Develop internal password protocols. Make sure passwords are not weak and don’t reuse them on other accounts. The Journal of Accountancy stated, “The impact of weak and repeated passwords is magnified now that so many cloud systems are in use, because the bad guys don’t have to be inside the network to use discovered passwords.”
  3. Teach users about email safety, including the predominance of phishing emails. These emails are insidious because they look legitimate. They can look like an email from a friend or a bank. But when you consider one click could take down a network, caution is definitely advised.
  4. Then there’s Malware, an insidious virus that can be purchased by hackers online. Malware can steal files, or even take over your computer. You can reduce the risk by monitoring your network, and installing and updating virus protection software.
  5. Consider partnering with a managed service provider like TOSS C3 to monitor your network and any external security threats.

Now that you’re terrified for the future security of your firm’s data, we have a solution to help keep you, your data, and your client’s information safe from prying hackers.

Managed Service Providers – Your Best Defense

A managed service provider can help your CPA team mitigate the risks of cyber security by developing a game plan to monitor and evaluate the network for any encroachments. To find out more contact TOSS C3 or buy the book ‘Easy Prey: How to Protect Your Business From Data Breach, Cybercrime and Employee Fraud.’

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