Blog > Accounting Cybersecurity in 2023: How to Keep your Financial Data Safe

Accounting Cybersecurity in 2023: How to Keep your Financial Data Safe

By |Published On: July 5th, 2023|

Accounting cybersecurity is an issue that is escalating rapidly the more technology advances and is increasingly important for businesses to keep up with. Financial data is generally the primary target in these cyberattacks which makes the jobs of accounting professionals and business owners even more difficult.

This article will discuss the importance of cybersecurity while providing some tips on how to enhance your accounting cybersecurity to avoid harmful breaches.

Why is accounting cybersecurity so important?

With technology advancing at alarming rates, the creativity of hackers is ever-increasing allowing for there to be an abundance of new methods your company’s financial data can be breached. Companies must prioritize the implementation of rigorous financial data security practices to mitigate the risks associated with data breaches and unauthorized access. Here’s a list of all the private information that can be stolen from your company:

  • Account numbers
  • Transaction details
  • Credit card numbers
  • Bank accounts
  • Usernames
  • Passwords
  • Social Security Numbers
  • Personal information

Not only is your company at risk of exposing confidential information such as employees’ social security numbers and addresses, but the costs associated with dealing with cyberattacks are substantial along with a list of other worrisome risks.

The top accounting cybersecurity risks…

The accounting aspect of your business comes with considerable risks. Below are a few of the top risks of cybersecurity accounting for accountants.

Vulnerability

While it’s apparent that businesses cannot be entirely cybersecure, accounting needs to focus on cybersecurity since some of the company’s most valuable and confidential financial information is at risk of being breached. As technology increases, hackers are becoming more intelligent and adaptable, making the occurrence of cyberattacks more significant. Cyberattacks occur at a rate of roughly 30,000 attacks daily, making vulnerability one of the major risks associated with cybersecurity.

Client Risk

Accountants often need to access personal client information, so firms need to ensure that client safety is at its highest. Being responsible for client’s confidential information, such as Social Security numbers to specific financial information, comes with a significant amount of responsibility and risks. It’s crucial for firms to train their accountants how to handle this kind of information to mitigate the overall client risk associated with cybersecurity.

Financial Risk

The financial risks associated with cyberattacks are substantial. A report on the costs of a data breach by IBM displayed data that mentioned the average cost of a data breach in 2022 was $9.44 million for companies in the United States. Not only are the costs of dealing with a data breach steep, the time it takes for these breaches to be detected is roughly 280 days making it difficult to recognize a data breach until it’s too late.

Ease of Hacking

Not only are the financial risks associated with cybersecurity significant, but because hacking is relatively easy to learn and accessible, it puts companies at an even greater risk. With minimal training, a hacker can completely obstruct your business and cost your company millions of dollars.

Reputational Loss

The losses associated with a data breach go beyond financial. If it becomes publicly known that your company has had a data breach, your cybersecurity reputation decreases deterring customers from your company. It’s important to address the issue and ensure to your customers the steps you’re going to take to prevent future cyberattacks and data breaches.

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4 Top Finance Risks: How to Identify and Manage Them Successfully

5 tips to enhance your accounting cybersecurity and avoid breaches…

1. Understanding your threats

Some of the more obvious cyberattack threats an accountant will face includes hacking, ransomware, and phishing scams, but internal threats and company mistakes are just as dangerous. Being knowledgeable and understanding of all of the security risks associated with accounting will help increase accountant’s adaptability to all different types of cyberattack scenarios.

2. Properly train your employees

While it’s generally not the main task of the accountant to be well acquainted with cybersecurity, companies should consider including a training program with IT and cloud accounting as the topic to protect the financial data of the companies. Embedding ownership into the individuals at your company will promote responsibility and the want to keep your company’s confidential data secure.

Not only is ownership crucial, but sometimes cybersecurity maintenance is extremely detailed and your staff needs to be trained sufficiently to stay ahead of cyberthreats. Ownership among employees also increases your company’s overall productivity making it a priority of your company to instill.

3. Understand state and federal regu