Cyberterrorism is becoming more prevalent with each passing year, costing businesses vast sums of money. According to Forbes, the global cost of ransomware cybercrime is expected to reach $265 billion by 2031. When it comes to successful attacks, accounting and security isn’t the only concern. Important business data could also be lost. According to the same Forbes article, only 57% of businesses successfully recover data after the fact. Furthermore, these attacks can hurt employee morale, reputation, and workflow.
This article examines accounting and security risks, as well as potential mitigation measures.
What Information are Cybercriminals Seeking?
Accounting data is typically targeted by cybercriminals. Credit cards, accounts, and social security numbers are examples of this information. Hackers are also likely to target login credentials and personally identifiable information. All of the above applies to customers as well. It’s one thing to have your company’s bank account information stolen, but leaking passwords and financial information for thousands of your customers is quite another.
Cybersecurity Threat Types:
This threat occurs when you receive an email from someone posing as a legitimate source and asking you to click a link and perform some action. Clicking the link or providing data to the webpage that you click on can then compromise your secure data, resulting in data breaches and giving the hacker access. It poses high accounting and security risks to the businesses.
The most common type of cyberattack is malware. Malicious software installed on your computer can take control of it, damage it, and collect sensitive data.
Ransomware is a type of malware attack that encrypts a portion of your system or data and threatens to delete or block the data unless a ransom is paid. This is no joke anymore. Many businesses are losing a lot of money here and others are at greater accounting and security risks.
User error is often overlooked, but it is still a threat in my opinion. When I first started my firm, I accidentally deleted a large amount of client data. Fortunately, I was able to retrieve all of this data, but it took me a long time to identify and retrieve it all!
Security Measures for Your Firm:
Understand Your Risks
As an accountant, you face threats such as hacking, ransomware, and phishing scams, but internal threats and errors can be just as damaging. With untrained staff, accidental data sharing is common, and there are numerous ways data relevant to the financial lifecycle can be misplaced. For proper data management, it is critical to analyze how your organization handles data and build accountability into your accounting practices to cut off accounting and security threats.
Your most trusted and experienced managers and approvers must take charge. Determine which actions and data must be reviewed and approved by higher-level management. This not only ensures that the most experienced and trustworthy employees have the final say over data use, but it also protects your accounting firm from potential errors. Remember that accidental data sharing is common and that approximately 80% of data breaches are caused by internal human errors. Creating an approval and validation system helps to ensure that no mistakes are made that could jeopardize your data.
Complex Passwords and Multi-factor Authentication are Required:
You should implement a complex password policy that requires longer passwords with numbers, letters, and symbols. Furthermore, requiring multi-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security. This means that account access will require both a password and entering a code sent to the user’s phone or email account. At least two methods of identification verification should be used. It will elevate your accounting and security. Making it more secure for you and your customers.
Conduct Audits and Penetration Tests:
Recognize that you will require outside assistance to keep your technology secure. You should hire a third party to audit your software and hardware to identify flaws. Penetration testing, in which an expert attempts to hack into your system to identify and fix any problems, should be part of your routine.
Maintain Consistent Updates:
Manufacturers update software and hardware regularly to address flaws that hackers can exploit. Ensure that your software and hardware are automatically updated so that you are not vulnerable to cybercriminals.
Use of VPN in Public Wi-Fi Areas:
Public Wi-Fi networks (for example, coffee shops, airports, and so on) are some of the least secure networks available for businesses, making you vulnerable to cybersecurity threats and allowing them access to your confidential information such as passwords, social security numbers, bank accounts, and so on. This problem is solved by joining a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
Select the Appropriate System
The most important step in accounting cybersecurity is selecting the appropriate accounting system. The best plans and established financial security requirements are meaningless if they are not implemented. Alternatively, if you are forced to implement these safeguards manually. The truth is that basic accounting security features such as usernames and passwords are no longer sufficient. To protect your accounting system from current cyber threats and ransomware attacks, you need a versatile system with strong encryption as well as automated internal security functions.
How to Protect Your Financial Data with Dynamics 365:
In some industries, such as healthcare, insurance, and financial services, there are very strict penalties and laws for data security, therefore you must guarantee that you have a solution that meets all of your data security requirements without compromising on accounts and security:
- Enhanced personal privacy rights – strengthened data protection for individuals by ensuring they get the right to access their data, correct inaccuracies in that data, have their data erased upon request, object to the processing of their data, and move their data.
- Increased responsibility for personal data protection – strengthened accountability of companies and public organizations that process personal data, providing greater clarity of responsibility in ensuring compliance.
- As you might expect, the GDPR has the potential to have a significant impact on your business, requiring you to update personal privacy policies, implement/strengthen personal data protection controls, and so on.
All in all, Dynamic 365 provides a complete business solution while guarding your privacy against cyber attackers.
Cyber attacks are very common nowadays. Most of the attackers target financial data for ransom. Protecting the financial information of your business and clients is crucial, for which you can follow steps such as the use of two authentication processes, a user hierarchy system, the use of VPN in public WiFi areas, etc. The use of dynamic 365 is just another step to protecting your business.
I hope you find the information useful. In case of any queries, Contact us.