How to keep your client data secure while working remote

Tuesday, 6. April 2021 | 0 Comments

Data security for your client’s data and any sensitive data is critical today. Are you doing enough to protect your data with the current remote working scenarios?

data security

Accounting professionals are vulnerable to cyber attacks, more so during the tax season. The volume of sensitive client data handled by accounting and finance professionals is attractive to cybercriminals. The pandemic has forced most staff to work from home for now. A Gartner survey finds that 47% of organizations will give employees the choice of working remotely on a full-time basis post-pandemic also. Rapid digital transformation has led to an increase in cyber attacks. It becomes imperative for organizations to protect client data and other sensitive data.

Accounting and Sensitive data

Accountants are likely to have sensitive client data. Sensitive data can include Social Security numbers, addresses, bank account numbers, credit card data, driver’s license numbers, salaries and earnings, medical history, and other information. These are monetizable data, and thieves seek precisely these details. You need to make sure that client data is secure. This is of paramount importance irrespective of the fact that your accounting team is working from home or office.

Here are some steps to protect your devices from cyber attacks. As an organization leader, you should have company policies in place to protect sensitive data. Data security is a priority now.

Cyber Security measures to protect data

You can mandate and implement the following cybersecurity measures –

  • Securing Cloud and non-cloud infrastructure : Security for cloud-based applications and on-premises applications.
  • Enhanced MFA protection : Protection of software applications access with multi-factor authentication (MFA).
  • Password policies : Stronger password protection and mandatory frequent password changes.
  • Securing networks : Protect your office network with requisite firewalls and other router configurations.
  • Data encryption : You must implement sensitive data encryption techniques to secure sensitive data.

Working from home has its challenges concerning client data security. If you have provided an organization device to your employees, it will be easier to secure it. Organizations can secure the device with end-to-end network security. However, if the employees are using their own devices, here are a few more tips for protecting devices:

  • Secure Wi-Fi : Employees should use only secured internet connections. Using unsecured Wi-Fi networks is a common cause for data breaches. You can set up a virtual private network (VPN) for employees to access official data. VPNs used before signing to public Wi-Fi networks will encrypt your remote worker’s internet traffic and keep data safe.
  • Please turn it off : When you have finished your work or not working anytime, it is better to turn off Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connectivity on devices when not in use. It is better to switch the device off.
  • Store laptop securely : Portable devices like laptops or smartphones are prone to theft. Ensure that you have it secured and keep it secure while on the move.
  • Find My Device : Switch on the ‘Find My Device’ feature for portable devices. It can help you find your device and protect the data in case your device is stolen or lost.
  • Using USB’s and Portable disks : Do not connect a USB or portable disk to your office work machine unless your company IT team clears it after scans. Malicious software can infect official data.

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