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5 actions for accountants to ensure cyber security

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All companies and individuals face the real risk of cyber attacks. In the US alone there were 15 major cyber attacks this year. Among the victims were government entities as well as the tech giant Microsoft. Andrew Cravenho, CEO of CBAC, which offers services for small businesses, suggest 5 actions accountants should take to mitigate the risk of a cyber attack.

Complacency

Your firm is not too small to attract the attention of hackers. Hackers look for weaknesses and your organization, whether large or small, may be a target solely because of that weakness. Don’t place your data at risk by making the assumption that you are too small to be targeted.

Weak or Shared Passwords

Simple passwords, sharing passwords with co-workers and failing to change passwords frequently is a risk. Always remember that passwords are intended to be secret!

Phishing and Spear Phishing

Although we are probably familiar with the terms, time and again, data has been compromised when an unwary target opens an email and clicks on a link or attachment opening the door for a hacker to infiltrate the system or infect it with malware. Spear phishing, which targets a person in an organization using information relevant to that individual, is often successful against even the most cautious of recipients. This hazard should be discussed frequently in meetings to ensure it is kept top-of-mind by the entire staff. You cannot rely on email filters to eliminate this risk.

Malware

There are numberless malware programs waiting to infect your computers and systems. This malware can be introduced via phishing or an innocent visit to a website. Many of these malware programs can be purchased by anyone with the money and intent to inflict harm. Vigilance and policies that prohibit non-business use of the Internet can aid in reducing the risks malware represents.

Vulnerabilities

These are flaws or weaknesses in system and software architectures that hackers can exploit. It is crucial to update software application regularly and reboot systems to ensure that updates take effect. This includes workstations, servers, laptops and routers. In short, all the hardware and software that is used in your day to day operations.

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