Data security in Accounting
For a business to run seamlessly in these challenging times, connectivity from anywhere anytime is a major requirement. Digital technology is transforming how businesses function, collaborate, compete, and engage with their customers. Technology brings opportunities for growth. However, adopting new technology also creates more challenges to provide data security. With the increased usage of the internet comes challenges such as cyber-attacks, security breaches, identity theft, and fraud. These have far-reaching consequences for your business and leads to loss of reputation, clientele, and trust.
Data security for accounting teams working remotely is all the more crucial. Accounting firms utilizing, or looking to scale up using the global workforce through outsourcing are keen to ensure their clients’ data is absolutely secure.
With most employees working from home owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, data security risks are to be studied and mitigated. A rounded approach to data security is a must, encompassing people, processes, and technology.
Most of the organizations implement data security measures only when they encounter a data breach. Instead of being reactive to disasters, businesses should act proactively to prevent any breaches.
The first requirement is to educate the staff with adequate knowledge to protect your firm’s information. They must be conversant with the dangers and efficient management of phishing, password security, data breaches, malware, and secure documents. One of the first training modules for GKM’s team members is a briefing session sensitizing them on physical and digital data security measures.
Every organization must focus on drafting and implementing strict IT security policies with administrative auditing, reporting, and monitoring facilities. This guarantees data security at every level of functioning.
Data Security measures – both on-site and when working from home:
Employ stringent physical security measures to maintain confidentiality. The organization must ensure the entire screening of visitors and employees. Permission to use camera phones or any other digital recording media inside the premises should be restricted. Installation of CCTV cameras will help to monitor activities carrying out by individuals in the workplace. Setting up automatic backup will reduce the risk of losing data.
At GKM, the staff is restricted to bring in any device into the processing facility. All their mobile phones or any other portable storage devices need to be secured in their individual lockers. A paperless office, coupled with continuous network and keystroke monitoring, entry with secure access cards, a well-implemented intrusion detection system are a few of the many measures implemented and diligently followed.
In case a team member is working from home after taking permission from the client, the equipment used is sanitized, and delivered to the team member from the office. This contains security applications and specific work-from-home policies which entitle accessing the secure encrypted company VPN and only then connecting to client networks.
Other general security measures include using genuine software on all the business workstations. GKM stays away from cracked software, which can lead to malicious software getting into devices. GKM uses fully licensed and approved software on its network to ensure total compliance. A top-of-the-class intrusion detection system, a highly secure firewall, multiple security layers for RDP access, and optimal bandwidth management are some of the measures taken at GKM to maintain highly efficient user productivity. GKM also centrally manages system access to employees with redundant data backup, privacy, and compliance measures.
GKM also works closely with its third-party vendors to ensure all security certifications, encryption measures, and data management policies are in place.
It is imperative for a strong organization to have able leaders, who keep a close watch on cyber-security programs and stay updated on the latest technology with respect to data security and privacy. In case of unforeseen disasters such as the COVID-19 pandemic, accidents, or any potential disasters, it is essential to ensure the right systems and people are in place to keep the business going. A thorough understanding of best accounting and security practices and a 360-degree perspective help GKM enable continuous growth for accounting firms.