Accounting Professionals Must Prioritize Financial Data Security


Cyberattacks are a permanent threat to the accounting and financial sector.

To help companies in this industry better understand their level of risk and why it’s more important than ever for accounting professionals to prioritize cybersecurity and data loss prevention, let’s take a look at some recent statistics associated with practical recommendations for the security of financial data.

Stat #1: Companies in the accounting and finance industry are at increased risk of cybersecurity attacks

In a *2021 Software Advice survey, more than two-thirds of companies (68%) in the accounting and finance industry say they’ve experienced a data breach in the past 12 months. A further 56% experienced an account takeover, underscoring the urgent need for enhanced security measures to protect sensitive financial information.

For accounting professionals working in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMBs), this data is even more alarming, as smaller organizations often have fewer resources to devote to cybersecurity. and have more to lose. This can put SMBs at increased risk of a data breach or account takeover, which can have devastating consequences.

How to answer

SMBs in the accounting and finance industry, or accounting professionals who work in SMBs in other industries, should continually review their security response plans and work with internal or outsourced IT teams to identify and protect their top risk factors. risk.

Use this guide to help you secure your financial information.

Stat #2: Accounting Firms Lose Data to Ransomware Attacks…Even After Paying the Ransom

In the *same Software Advice survey, 41% of accounting firms that suffered a ransomware attack paid the ransom but did not recover their data.

As ransomware attacks continue to grow in sophistication, the risk of losing data even after paying the ransom is greater than ever. And SMBs can’t afford to lose money and data this way.

How to answer

To protect your business against this growing threat, make sure you have regular data backups in place and that your systems are up to date with the latest security patches.

Explore cloud backup and storage solutions for your business and learn how to use software reviews to choose the right tool to protect and store sensitive information.

Stat #3: Poor security training puts accountancy firms at risk

In addition to the overall increase in cyber threats, results from Software Advice’s 2021 Data Security Survey indicate that inadequate and inconsistent security training of staff is a major cause of cyber security and data loss. in accounting firms.

Nearly a third of accounting companies (30%) carry out security training irregularly or only when they join the company. This means that many employees don’t know how to handle sensitive financial information, which can lead to human error, data loss, and a general lack of financial data security.

How to answer

To correct this anomaly, small and medium-sized accounting firms should prioritize regular and in-depth security training for all employees with access to sensitive data. This training should be conducted regularly to ensure that everyone understands the importance of cybersecurity and knows how to react in the event of a breach.

Your training should educate staff on their roles and responsibilities, including who to notify in the event of an attack and how to mitigate the overall risk through their daily actions.

Accounting software and cybersecurity

Over the past decade, the number of cyberattacks targeting businesses of all sizes has increased dramatically. As our reliance on technology increases, the risk of falling victim to a data breach or other type of cybercrime also increases.

Accounting software is an essential tool for SMEs, whether yours operates in the accounting and finance industry or employs a few in-house accounting professionals. Since these tools help businesses track their finances, prepare tax returns, and manage payroll, they contain a wealth of sensitive information, including customer data, financial records, and employee information.

If this information falls into the wrong hands, it could be used to commit fraud or theft. Accounting professionals need to keep their software up to date to keep their systems secure.

How Software Advice can help you

Software Advice can help you find the right cybersecurity software with unbiased user reviews and comparisons of the best products on the market.

Additional Resources:


Software Advice’s 2021 Data Security Survey was conducted August 20-24 with 973 respondents to learn more about data security in US businesses. Respondents were pre-screened for full-time employment and 90 were identified as their organization’s IT security manager.


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