Making Tax Digital (MTD) is transforming how accounting firms all of sizes handle and access their client’s financial data.
Research shows 62% of accounting firms are planning to invest in cloud infrastructure in the next 12 months, from using cloud-based accounting packages such as Sage and Quickbooks online to more wholesale hosting of office infrastructure in dedicated colocation facilities.
Accounting firms are undergoing a digital transformation and that brings a new set of challenges – how to keep data secure.
New technologies = new threats
The migration to digital bookkeeping software is not without its risks. Worldwide, we can see that only healthcare ranks above financial services when it comes to the areas in most danger from cyber threats.
Here are a few simple steps accountancy firms can take to reduce the risk of cyber threats:
1. Protect on-premise systems and not just cloud applications
Your cyber security is only as strong as your weakest link. There’s a common misconception that because your cloud application is secure that your client’s data is safe. However, your on-premise equipment acts as your gateway to your cloud system and it’s critical that you take steps to protect the premise PC’s and laptops that have access to sensitive data.
2. Educate staff on best practices
With half of the UK workforce predicted to work remotely by 2020, flexible working is now a necessity for all industries. With this comes the responsibility of monitoring personal devices and emails. Introducing work-from-home and BYOD policies and security training can provide staff with simple steps to ensure they’re aware of what a typical cyber threat looks like.
3. Test for vulnerabilities
As business-critical applications make the shift from paper to digital, it’s more crucial than ever to keep tabs on network activity. It’s been reported that 20% of all network vulnerabilities discovered are identified as being a high or critical risk. Staying one step ahead of network threats can limit the consequences and reassure clients that data is safe.
How NTE can help
The number of breaches per accounting firm has more than tripled over the past 5 years resulting in nearly two-thirds of financial services companies’ total security costs being spent on containment and detection of cyber breaches.
NTE has launched a suite of cyber security services to protect your network and support the transition to the cloud – these services can be simply added onto existing services or ordered independently. View our Cyber Security services here.
If you’re an accountancy firm who has recently made or is thinking about the switch to cloud-based software, get in touch with one of our cyber security specialists for some advice on how to get your cyber security journey started.