Money Matters – does your Accountancy or Financial Advice business have adequate IT?
Sound IT security and IT systems are vital for any business but particularly those that deal with the types of personal data cyber criminals crave; think bank details, financial worth, full contact information…
Accountancy and Financial Advice businesses are tempting targets for criminals that want high returns. As such, layers of vital IT security need to be in place. Plus, IT security should regularly appear on staff training and communication agendas.
We recently wrote about ‘supply chain scammers’ demonstrating how hackers will work their way into a supply chain, sometimes at the very bottom. So, whilst you may believe your systems are infallible, are those of your suppliers?
Has IT security been on your list of priorities?
If not, it should be. It’s not just a tick box area of business.
We repeatedly mention how clever cyber criminals are. They are not to be underestimated. You need to ensure that every element of your business is covered by layers of security, making it as difficult as possible for criminals to infiltrate. And time does not stand still. So your IT security software has an annual fee; simply paying up and forgetting about it is not an option. Noteworthy is the fact that even the most rigorous IT security is not necessarily impenetrable; hackers work hard so you need to work harder.
Where are your servers currently positioned?
If servers are on site, how well are they guarded? If you cannot guarantee the physical security of your servers, is it time to consider a cloud-based system? On the face of it these may seem like a more risky option, but there are systems with extremely high levels of security attached, ideal for businesses with high value data.
Are you computers and servers within warranty, and have they had all updates and upgrades. Using up-to-date IT kit will not only allow ease of use, but will also help ensure the highest levels of security.
Changing work patterns at pace has left many businesses poorly protected. ‘Shadow hardware’ has been used – think personal devices, plus normal security and backup procedures may have lapsed. Get on top of this now, particularly if hybrid working is to become the norm in your business. Make sure the same levels of IT security are in place wherever people are working.
We’re only human
Regrettably, human error is often at the heart of a security breach. Your teams need consistent, comprehensive IT security awareness training. Additionally, you need to ensure a culture of openess and availability. Your door should always be open to those that want to check information to make sure it’s correct. Too often we hear of security breaches that have occurred because a staff member was too afraid to check a transaction with their superiors.
The implication of inadequate IT security is scary stuff. A security breach could potentially ruin a business not just through the actions that hackers have carried out, but also by reputational damage. We don’t want you to have sleepless nights, but we do want you to appreciate the full damage that could be caused if security is breached and consider all the ways that this can be avoided.
We are here to help
We want you to benefit from the best IT kit for the job, but also to ensure you have all the security you need at your fingertips. Office 365 Enhanced Security is provided by Net Primates to give advanced security within Office 365, plus we can advise on all areas of IT security, including staff training. Find out how you can keep your Accountancy or Financial Advice business secure and efficient, providing the very best service to your clients.