Staff Cyber Security Awareness Training During Tax Season: Essential Actions for Accountants

Staff Cyber Security Awareness Training During Tax Season: Essential Actions for Accountants

Tax season is not just the busiest time of year for accountants; it’s also the busiest time of year for cyber criminals. With sensitive data being exchanged digitally and faster than ever before, the risk of breaches, phishing, and other cyber threats escalates significantly. With 94% of all tax filings done online, your firm could be at serious risk of attack.  

Knowing this, how can accountants keep their firm protected while maintaining productivity, and still hitting their tax deadlines? Enter Practice Protect, America’s largest cyber security platform for accounting professionals, offering robust cyber security solutions built specifically for the accounting workflow  

In this article, we will outline practical steps for implementing staff cyber security awareness training, and how leveraging a platform such as Practice Protect can secure your firm’s digital environment. 

Why Cyber Security Awareness is Critical 

First things first, understanding the ‘why’ behind the need for cyber security awareness will make it obvious why it is something you need to prioritize in 2024, despite how busy you are. 

Cyber-attacks are not just random acts of digital mischief; they’re targeted, sophisticated attempts to access confidential information. They are not the hackers in a basement trying to get into your server, they are a person trying to trick you or your staff into giving up sensitive information or access to your systems.  

For accounting professionals, this could mean anything from social security numbers to financial records – it’s a absolute gold mine for cyber criminals who could do untold long-term damage with this information. The repercussions of a breach are severe, ranging from financial loss to irreversible damage to your firm’s reputation, plus depending on what steps you take, it could leave you open to legal liabilities. 

So, what can you do to limit your liability, but more importantly keep your client’s data safe? Afterall you are one of, if not their most, trusted advisors.  

4 Key Actions for Enhancing Cyber Security 

  1. Educate Your Team on Phishing Scams
    Phishing remains one of the most effective tactics used by criminals, especially during tax season. Training sessions which teach staff how to recognize suspicious emails, links, and requests are invaluable. Incorporate real-world examples and regular testing to ensure the information sticks.
  2. Implement Strong Password Policies
    Weak passwords are akin to leaving your front door unlocked. Encourage the use of complex passwords and adopt a mandate of multi-factor authentication (MFA) for an added layer of security. Practice Protect’s Access Hub can streamline this process, making it easier for your team to adhere to best practices without the hassle.
  3. Regularly Update and Patch Software
    Outdated software is a prime target for hackers looking for vulnerabilities. Ensure all systems and software are up to date. Automated update features, like those provided via the Device Hub, can help in maintaining the latest security standards.
  4. Foster a Culture of Security
    Cyber security is not a one-time training or a box to check off; it’s an ongoing process. Creating a culture where security is everyone’s responsibility encourages vigilance. Regular updates, reminders, and discussions about cyber security can help maintain awareness throughout the tax season and beyond. 

You need an expert and alley when it comes to cyber security 

Why choose Practice Protect? Catering specifically to accounting professionals, Practice Protect understands the unique challenges and risks faced by the industry. Here’s how it can transform your firm’s cyber security posture: 

  • Centralized Control: Manage access to sensitive information through a single dashboard, reducing the risk of unauthorized access. 
  • Customized Training: Access to industry-specific cyber security training modules ensures your team is prepared for the unique threats facing accountants. 
  • Comprehensive Coverage: From email protection to secure client portals, Practice Protect offers a suite of tools designed to safeguard every aspect of your digital operations. 
  • Full FTC Compliance: with all 5 safeguards covered by our platform we can help reduce legal liability and increase overall safety and protection in your firm  

 As we navigate the complexities of tax season, the importance of cyber security cannot be overstated. By implementing staff cyber security awareness training and partnering with Practice Protect, accountants can significantly enhance their firm’s defense mechanisms. Remember, in the digital age, being proactive about cyber security is not just advisable; it’s imperative. 

In a world where cyber threats are constantly evolving, staying one step ahead is key. Practice Protect not only offers the tools and training your firm needs but also stands as a testament to the power of industry-specific solutions in the battle against cybercrime. So, as you gear up for tax season, make cyber security awareness a cornerstone of your strategy and see how Practice Protect can help you achieve a secure, efficient, and resilient operational environment. 

Embarking on your cyber security journey?  

Let Practice Protect be your guide to a safer tax season and beyond. Book in a consultation with one of our Cyber Security Specialists now