Accounting IT Services
Accounting companies, whether they provide strictly bookkeeping or a wide range of offerings, including executive-level CPA services, are prime targets for cyberattacks. Cybersecurity, administered by a qualified accounting IT services team, must be at the forefront of IT efforts because such firms are a gateway to the personally identifiable information (PII) and financial assets of many other companies. Not only is cyber-liability for accounting services relatively high, so is the impact of lost reputation and trust if a cyber breach should occur due to a lack of dedicated accounting IT support within your organization.
Because no single layer of security can eliminate all threats, Technical Framework uses the Defense in Depth approach to security, employing multiple layers of protection for accounting firms’ cybersecurity needs.
An experienced accounting IT support team should know that defense in Depth has three tiers of protection: physical, technical, and administrative.
Physical controls limit or prohibit direct access to IT systems, including fences, locks, guards, dogs, and surveillance systems. Without physical controls, digital controls are useless since systems or data can be stolen and compromised outside of the purview of technical and administrative controls.
Technical controls use hardware, software, and engineering to protect data, including full disk encryption, biometric security, firewalls, and malware prevention. Technical controls tend to be the most challenging for accounting IT support teams to administer due to the dynamic nature of information technology and require the services of experienced technical personnel.
Administrative controls are the written policies and procedures of an organization, including hiring practices, data handling procedures, security requirements, and BYOD rules. Accounting IT services and human resources departments must work together closely to ensure policies are kept according to the latest regulations and cyber threats, distributed to all employees, and enforced consistently across an organization.
Some policies do not fall in the defense category but are more associated with recovery. A cyber incident response policy created by the accounting IT services team is necessary in case of failed threat prevention resulting in data loss or a breach, especially if the incident involves PII. Most states have strict laws governing PII breach reporting procedures.
Disaster recovery systems are another area that is critical but not part of Defense in Depth. Full system backup and restore should be part of any organization’s cybersecurity regimen, tested periodically, to ensure validity. A ransomware attack, for example, can render one or more systems unusable until the IT staff performs restoration.
Data integrity is another highly critical area since accounting firms handle many disparate databases and formats from various clients. Scans of inbound data from other companies must take place before they are merged with central data storage. Servers, PCs, and internal network equipment must undergo routine maintenance and timely upgrade by your accounting IT support personnel, so storage subsystems are healthy and operating optimally.
Technical Framework’s accounting IT services team provides Defense in Depth services for accounting, financial, and bookkeeping firms across Northern Colorado, Southern Wyoming, and the Denver area. Our seasoned staff understands that downtime means lost revenues and employs proactive measures to prevent frequent break-fix situations that result in lost productivity for bookkeeping and accounting teams.