Businesses of all sizes, from tax and accounting firms to hedge funds, have been upended and pushing into a telecommuting environment. Some tax and accounting firms have been ahead of the curve adopting powerful, efficient, and user-friendly cloud-empowered infrastructure for their telecommuting employees. Regardless of your firm’s preparedness, we are all facing new data and cybersecurity threats as more of the workforce has moved to full-time remote work.
We have compiled a list of cyber threats and countermeasures that all businesses should be aware of moving forward.
What has changed due to the COVID-19 Pandemic?
- As a result of social distancing guidelines, most organizations outside of essential businesses needed to keep the country running have moved to full-time remote work.
- This increase in remote workers has put an extra strain on IT resources
- The increase in people working from home has put pressure on commercial broadband providers bandwidth
- Employees working from home are more likely to access secured areas from their personal devices, exponentially increasing the potential data privacy risk.
Two Main Trends: Remote User Credential Theft and Weaponized Email Attacks
- As workers shift remotely, there has been a significant uptick in remote user logins to organizational resources. Remote connections have been established by employees and devices that have never done so before. Hackers are using this massive spike in activity to conceal malicious logins.
- Email phishing has been around for as long as email has existed. Still, this pandemic is creating more significant issues than expected in the cybersecurity department. As remote employees access their email from their personal devices, they are less likely to have a strong email AV set up. Also, the IT staff’s efficiency has been reduced as everyone has been forced to work remotely.
- The WHO (World Health Organization) and CDC (Centers for Disease Control) have issued alerts about phishing campaigns from people posing as them offering critical information to illegally gain access to secure systems.
What steps can tax and accounting firms take to keep their data and networks safe?
- Add remote work standard operating procedures to your IT policy (or create an IT policy if you don’t currently have one). Check out the Cyber Readiness Institute’s article on this.
- Plan for additional personal devices connecting to your business network. These devices might connect through less secure home Wi-Fi networks. Use wired connections (more secure and faster), keep computers entirely up to date with system patches and antivirus software, and implement Two-Factor Authentication for essential services.
- Educate yourself and your team about emerging threats and best practices to keep your data secure.
The bottom line is that tax and accounting firms must take action right now to protect their employees, data, and clients. These actions should be part of a long-term plan to prepare for an unexpected crisis like the coronavirus pandemic.
Part of that long-term solution should entail migrating your infrastructure to the cloud and partnering with an experienced, expert cloud hosting provider. Cloud hosting will improve the productivity and efficiency of your remote staff while ensuring data security and risk mitigation against unforeseeable crises.
Verito’s Cloud Hosting offers tax and accounting firms:
- A cloud-based remote desktop solution that provides access to the same icons, applications, folders, and files that are available on your desktop computer in the office.
- Managed Cloud Hosting ensures that all apps stay up to date. App developers frequently roll out patches to their software to close any security loopholes, so staying up to date is extremely important for security.
- 24/7 Customer Support should any problem occur. Our expert technicians are standing by to help.
- Complete Security and Peace of Mind. We store and execute virtual desktops directly from our servers, located in our US-Based data-centers that meet top-tier security and compliance requirements. Our Data-centers offer such features as enterprise-grade firewalls, physical intrusion prevention and endpoint security software, SOC and PCI compliance, and independence from any local system security.
- Automated Daily Backups. Our automated enterprise-grade daily backups ensure peace of mind. Never worry about data loss again.
Whether your tax and accounting firm needs quick fixes to deal with these unprecedented times or you’ve been exploring long-term cloud-based solutions for a while, Verito is here to help.
About Verito Technologies
Verito Technologies provides fully-managed, turn-key cloud hosting solutions for all size companies. We host your favorite tax/accounting software on a dedicated cloud server backed by enterprise-grade security that is SOC, PCI DSS, SSAE compliant, and our strategically located data centers offer a 99.99% uptime guarantee. Automated backups and a 24/7 support team provide complete peace of mind.