April 18, 2023

How Hackers are Targeting CPA Firms and How To Mitigate Your Risk

Protecting clients' sensitive financial information is the top priority for CPA firms. However, staying protected against cybersecurity threats is becoming increasingly complex with the rise of cybercrime. Hackers vigorously target CPA firms with phishing emails, social engineering scams, and ransomware attacks, resulting in significant financial losses, reputational damage, and legal liabilities. To combat these threats, CPA firms must implement a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy to reduce cybersecurity risks while focusing on providing exceptional client service.

This article will discuss the importance of mitigating cybersecurity risks and why CPA firms are prime targets for cybercriminals. The blog will also provide insights into the four pillars of security, best practices for CPA firms to follow, and the benefits of investing in a complete and reliable security solution.

Why CPA Firms are Prime Targets for Hackers

CPA firms are prominent targets for cybercriminals, as they handle personal information and sensitive financial records. According to the American Institute of CPAs, cyberattacks against accounting firms have increased in frequency and severity in recent years. Many firms report successful attacks resulting in data breaches, financial loss, and reputational damage. 

One reason CPA firms are targeted is the valuable data they possess, including clients' tax returns, financial statements, and personal identification information. Attackers use social engineering and phishing scams to gain access and use this data to commit financial crimes like identity theft or tax fraud. They also monetize the data on the dark web or sell it to other cybercriminals.

Given the significant risk that cyberattacks pose to the accounting industry, CPA firms must stay vigilant and current on the latest cyber threats and vulnerabilities. CPA firms can better protect their organization and clients from the potentially devastating consequences of a cyberattack by being aware of potential risks and taking steps to mitigate them.

Mitigating Cybersecurity Risks for CPA Firms 

CPA firms must align with a trusted security solution provider who can help with security management, remote monitoring, and maintenance. This can lessen the cybersecurity burden and allow firms to focus on what they do best: providing high-quality financial services to clients.

Vulnerability assessments, security audits, and ongoing monitoring and maintenance are some services a security solution provider can provide. They can assist with incident response and disaster recovery planning and provide expertise in implementing security controls and policies.

The Four Pillars of Security: Best Practices for CPA Firms

Cetrom believes that all CPA firms should adopt the Four Pillars of Security to protect themselves against cybersecurity threats. These are:

  • Conducting proactive patch management: Staying updated with software and system updates is crucial as they often include critical security fixes. CPA firms should prioritize regular patch management to minimize their exposure to security risks.
  • Adopting the least privilege model: Restrict access to sensitive data to only those who need it to perform their job responsibilities. By adopting the least privilege model, CPA firms can limit the potential damage caused by a data breach.
  • Adopting next-generation antivirus: Traditional antivirus software is no longer enough to protect against modern cyber threats. Cetrom's Advanced Threat Protection technologies, including our Next-Gen AV and Managed Detection & Response (MDR) solutions, help stop these threats.
  • Adopting cybersecurity awareness training: One of the most effective ways to mitigate cybersecurity risks is to train employees to recognize and avoid potential threats. CPA firms should also implement regular cybersecurity awareness training to educate employees on best practices for staying safe online. It is up to them to practice zero trust and always verify senders.

Adopting a comprehensive cybersecurity approach and following the Four Pillars of Security can help protect your CPA firm from cyber threats.

The Benefits of Investing in a Complete Security Solution

CPA firms face increasing cybersecurity threats in today's digital age. Cybercriminals are constantly developing new ways to exploit vulnerabilities in networks and systems, putting businesses at risk of data breaches, financial loss, and reputational harm. Investing in a comprehensive security solution is one of the best ways to mitigate these risks.

A complete security solution typically includes various tools and services to protect against cybersecurity threats. This includes next-generation antivirus software, advanced threat protection technologies, managed detection and response services, and more. By deploying a comprehensive security solution, CPA firms can reduce the likelihood of successful cyberattacks and minimize the impact of any breaches that do occur.

The benefits of investing in a complete security solution are numerous. For one, it can save CPA firms significant time and money in the long run. The costs of remediation, legal fees, and reputational damage can be enormous in case of a data breach or other security incident. CPA firms can significantly reduce the likelihood of such incidents occurring in the first place by investing in a comprehensive security solution.

Furthermore, a complete security solution can give CPA firms peace of mind, knowing that their networks and systems are monitored and protected around the clock. This can free up valuable time and resources that would otherwise be spent on cybersecurity tasks, allowing CPA firms to focus on providing their clients with high-quality accounting and financial services.

Cetrom's Advanced Threat Protection: Helping CPA Firms Stay Safe

A complete security solution is critical for protecting CPA firms against cyber threats. Partnering with Cetrom, a cloud-based provider that excels in cybersecurity, is a preventive, first-line defense to protect firms from cyberattacks. Our range of security solutions and services is designed to keep our client’s networks and systems secure, so they can focus on confidently running their firms.

  • Offers a multilayered security approach. The cloud-based solutions provided by Cetrom include advanced artificial intelligence security technologies. Cetrom installs a variety of software designed to stop cyber breaches. Cetrom's intelligent software can learn users' habits and daily activities and identify when an anomaly is present. 
  • Provides cybersecurity training. Cetrom offers customized cybersecurity training to teach best practices to employees. The training curriculum includes data security procedures, building strong passwords, staying secure when working remotely and on mobile devices, and learning to recognize cyber threats. 
  • Helps CPA firms create a cybersecurity culture. Cetrom helps employees understand the importance of keeping CPA firms secure, considering the high financial value of their data. Cetrom offers ongoing cybersecurity education, reviews of cybersecurity principles, and tests of their training programs. 

Let Cetrom help defend your CPA firm so you can focus your passions on what you do best: keeping clients feeling safe and secure with their financial decisions.


Contact us today to learn more!

 

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