Q: How do I protect against data breaches?
A: Cyber liabilities and data breaches pose big risks to finance professionals, but the good news is that 90 percent of breaches are preventable, according to ZDnet . But this raises the question — if so many data breaches are preventable, why do they keep happening?
The reality is that many small-business owners — whether you're an accountant, tax preparer, or other finance professional — know their industry backward and forward, but don't know much about data security .
A finance professional has access to heaps of personal information and data. If your business were hacked, criminals might have access to…
- Client names, email addresses, and contact information.
- Social security numbers.
- Bank account and routing numbers.
- Bank statements and credit card information.
- E-banking account information.
You're exposed to substantial risk. If a criminal accessed your network, they could use that data for fraud, theft, or identity theft.
So how do you protect against data breaches? Your company should do three things:
- Work with an IT consultant to make sure your network and software is secure and your data is properly encrypted.
- Use strong, unique passwords (a random mix of numbers and letters) for computer and online accounts.
- Invest in Cyber Liability Insurance (also known as Data Breach Insurance) to cover the cost of a data breach response.
These actions will go a long way in helping accountants prevent data breaches and shielding them from the exorbitant cost of a breach. For more tips on data breach prevention, read our post, "Data Breach and Cyber Security: How to Protect Your Financial Firm from Cyber Attacks ."