Cetrom Support fixed all of my problems, their engineers are very professional, courteous, friendly and very efficient. If all customer service out there was like this, it would be a better world...- Mid-sized
The cyber threat environment changes every day and is a real concern for businesses large, small, and in between. You might be saying to yourself, “We’re too small and under-the-radar to get hit.” Well, unfortunately, that’s not the case; if you operate online and your employees use the Internet (which is every business), cyberattacks are a real and ever-present threat.
Did you know:
The cyber threat matrix is complex and consistently difficult to combat. The bottom line is you need a comprehensive security plan that addresses intricate technological issues and possibly the biggest threat of all — human error.
Everything is not doom and gloom; there are some practical steps to keep your CPA firm safer more consistently. At Cetrom, we’re here to help you stay safe, secure, and operating smoothly.
Here are a few practical steps to enhance your cybersecurity program.
Adopt a Three-Pronged Approach
Your approach to cybersecurity cannot be piecemeal; it must be comprehensive and consistently executed, monitored, and adjusted, which can be a tough task for IT teams stuck in “break-and-fix mode.”
We recommend a three-pronged overall approach to improving cybersecurity:
Let’s take a deeper dive into each of these three facets of stronger cybersecurity for CPA firms.
Your staff represents one of the gravest cybersecurity risks out there; it is also possibly the most difficult to prevent. Human error, ignorance to possible threats, and poorly communicated internal protocols can very easily lead to network breaches.
The most effective solution: Constant education and training of your staff.
Your small IT team, or one IT person, can’t do this alone. Every employee needs to take ownership of the role they play in keeping your CPA firm’s data and information safe. The most sophisticated and expensive software in the world can’t stop a single employee from opening a phishing email that lets the bad guys in.
A cybersecurity educated and trained workforce is your best line of defense against security breaches. Training should be an ongoing professional development requirement that will reinforce company-wide security policies like the following:
Other Important Ways to Secure Your CPA Firm’s Data
Setting aside the human factor, let’s take a look at ways your CPA’s IT team can leverage technology to bulk up your cybersecurity infrastructure.
Deploy Artificial Intelligence
AI is a valuable tool for thwarting cyberattacks, be they malware, ransomware, or a solo hacker. It’s an established fact that human monitoring of any given IT network is doomed to failure: The global reach, non-stop change, and supersonic speed of the cybersecurity threat ecosystem is far too much for any one IT person — or even a sizable team — to handle alone. AI, when deployed by an experienced IT-managed services partner like Cetrom, can be a great weapon against security breaches.
Leverage the Cloud’s Enhanced IT Security Features
Moving to a cloud-hosted system has its security advantages, particularly when this move is coupled with a partnership with an experienced IT-managed services partner. What you get by combining a cloud-hosted system with this partnership can be invaluable to your cybersecurity effectiveness. You should get:
Develop a Disaster Recovery Plan
This last tip for better cybersecurity is not AI or tech-based. It’s really about being proactive and planning in advance for the worst case scenario. The first step is simply accepting that a cyberattack is coming sooner or later. Once you and your IT team accept this reality, developing a disaster response and recovery plan is a no brainer. Here are a few tips for building an effective plan:
The bottom line: Your CPA firm will get hit. How fast and how well you respond is directly correlated to the damage that will be done to your bottom line and brand reputation.
Bulk Up Your Backup Processes
Finally, you must have a regimented, sophisticated, and repeatable backup process for your data.
You can even store your data and backups in geographically dispersed, disaster-proof, and highly secured locations offsite. For example, Cetrom clients enjoy the peace of mind that comes with their data being securely stored in our two Cloud data centers in Virginia and Colorado that are geographically dispersed for automatic failover protection and remote backups, ensuring their data is protected. Both facilities are SSAE 16 compliant (formerly the SAS70 standard) and SOC 2 compliant for top-tier security measures.
Finally, our last piece of advice when it comes to cybersecurity: Don’t go at it alone.
The investment in a partnership with a Cloud and managed-IT services provider frees your non-IT employees from the burden of tasks not in their area of expertise, and it also alleviates “break-and-fix” pressure on your IT team. Both your unofficial IT person and your official IT staff can move beyond immediate issues to focus on their actual job and longer-term strategic IT issues, respectively.
Plus, partnering with a third-party IT management company simply gives you better security with tier-3 engineers on 24/7/365 watch over your network. For more information on how Cetrom can help protect your CPA firm from impending cyberattacks, click on the button below:
Cetrom Support fixed all of my problems, their engineers are very professional, courteous, friendly and very efficient. If all customer service out there was like...- Mid-sized