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Why Your Accounting Businesses Should Start Prioritizing Cyber-Security

Organizations in the financial services space have been common targets for cyberattacks in recent years, and it’s clear why this is happening. CPA firm databases hold lots of sensitive financial and personal data, and tech-savvy threat actors out to plunder convenient one-stop-shops consider them to be treasure troves.

If your accounting firm has experienced a data breach before, you probably understand the adverse impact on your bottom line and client relationships. The number of successful breaches continues to increase, as well as the associated costs. In 2019, the US recorded the highest average total cost globally, standing at $8.19 million.

It’s Time for Accounting Firms to Reconsider Cybersecurity

In the current digitalized business landscape, it’s not just established firms that face cybersecurity threats. Even startups are vulnerable, and it’s even worse considering most don’t have robust security structures for their data and businesses. Furthermore, most small and medium-sized entities don’t have all it takes to create a comprehensive recovery and business continuity plan.

According to recent CNBC findings, accounting businesses are the most targeted by attackers among small companies. A such, you must be constantly vigilant.

Digital advancements have enabled organizations to boost their productivity and customer satisfaction. However, they have also changed the threat landscape and introduced advanced cyberattack risks. As a result, CPA firms must reexamine their security parameters to match the newer and technologically advanced attack methods.

Why You Should Prioritize Cybersecurity
Here’s why accounting agencies are paying attention to cybersecurity:

All CPA Firms Are Vulnerable

Hacking methods continue to evolve by the day, and threat actors exploit advanced methods of executing attacks. Your business may have all the controls and policies in place, but there’s always a possibility of a breach since a hacker might use a new system penetration program. To be safe, you must be ahead of the latest cybersecurity standards and trends and update your systems regularly.

Attacks Have Substantial Financial Losses

Most data breaches and cyberattacks are intended to extract cash, like ransomware attacks. A data breach incident can be a costly affair leading to substantial financial implications. Furthermore, you’ll lose customer trust, and this will severely harm your income.

Even if you successfully defend your firm’s digital assets, cleaning up the mess can destabilize your finances. That’s why most organizations have a detailed business continuity plan.

Clients Are at Risk

Financial impacts like bankruptcy are just one facet of compromised security. If your accounting firm can’t guarantee data security, clients may suffer grave consequences.

During your daily operations, you likely process and store lots of vital customer data. It’s your obligation to understand how valuable your role is in ensuring this data is as secure as possible by taking the possible safety measures.

Damaged Reputation

Today’s digital landscape is highly connected, and any bad news or negative review can reach all continents in seconds. As such, you cannot afford to damage your organization’s reputation. One of the most “unforgivable” news is those relating to cybersecurity.

A data breach will leave a long-term impact on your reputation, which will directly translate into reduced profits. That’s why organizations should adopt the latest security tools and standards.

Hackers are Everywhere

Most people presume that data breaching and hacking are serious activities only handled by experienced and professional threat actors. On the contrary, these attacks can be executed with individuals with a shallow knowledge of the techniques and limited cybersecurity knowledge.

These malicious individuals leverage advanced software that doesn’t require much human intervention. Constant monitoring and threat assessment are crucial in avoiding common threats.

The Bottom Line

For accounting firms, cyber threats are real, and the number of successful breaches grows every year. You can reduce your susceptibility to attacks by using a proactive approach that protects the data entrusted to you by your customers. What’s more, partnering with an experienced CPA firm cybersecurity expert like Schilling IT will substantially boost your protection and earn customer trust.

Reach out today for personalized cybersecurity support for your accounting business.

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