7 IT Security Mistakes OKC CPA Firms Make

7 IT Security Mistakes OKC CPA Firms Make

7-IT-Security-Mistakes-OKC-CPA-Firms-MakeOKC CPA firms can’t afford IT security mistakes. Not if they want to stay in business.

If you’re in a leadership position at a CPA firm in Oklahoma City, you know this. You also know that making security mistakes is inviting trouble.

But how do you eliminate security mistakes?

One way is to impose a strict security policy. Another way is to invest in educational awareness. Implementing these two measures helps prevent common IT security mistakes like those described below:

Common IT Security Mistakes of Oklahoma City Metro CPA Firms

What are some of the biggest IT security oversights of CPAs in the OKC region?

  1. Weak passwords — These are among the biggest mistakes of all. By the time employees realize they’ve chosen a weak password, they’ve been hacked. How do you encourage stronger password creation? Simple. Create and enforce password policies that require a mixture of letters, numbers, and symbols.
  2. Storing data improperly — Unprotected data is a serious security mistake. Yet employees continue to store valuable data on portable devices like smartphones, laptops, and USB drives. These devices can get lost or stolen. Encrypting all data —whether passive or in transit — protects it from digital thieves.
  3. Poor mobile security —Most OKC CPAs walk around with mobile devices. To proactively secure against this data vulnerability, create and enforce a mobile security policy. Also, invest in software security packages designed specifically to discourage cyber-attacks.
  4. Not installing security patches — Installing security updates and patches are a must. That’s because anything public-facing is a target. Failing to install patches and updates is asking for trouble.
  5. Not planning for lost computers — Greater Oklahoma City CPA firms need to be prepared for lost, stolen, and discarded computers. These devices can all contain sensitive data. In addition to encrypting your data, invest in some LoJack-type software that can help pinpoint the location of a stolen computer.
  6. Improperly connecting to rogue Wi-Fi — When on public Wi-Fi networks, you need to be especially cautious. Why? Hackers often set up rogue Wi-Fi access points in public locations to lure in unsuspecting victims. What’s the motivation? The thieves want to capture your login credentials, generally to commit or assist in committing identity theft.
  7. Not updating antivirus software — Antivirus software is among the early layers of network security. If you fail to keep it up to date, you’re vulnerable to attack. Make sure employees turn antivirus software on and update it as often as the software wants to.

These seven items are only a handful of the IT security mistakes OKC CPA firms make all the time. Continuing to make them can cost your firm dearly.

The Bottom Line

OKC CPA firms handle sensitive accounting and financial data all the time. It’s their lifeblood. So they can’t afford security breaches. That’s a nightmare that can cost a firm its credibility and its clients, as well as a small fortune in litigation, fines, and penalties – and in the era of social media, permanent online reputation damage.

As a key executive at your firm, it's your responsibility to make sure you're doing everything you can to prevent IT security mistakes.

 

What is your firm doing to eliminate common IT security mistakes? Let us know your thoughts in the Comments box below.

And to follow up on the tips introduced in this article, be sure to download your free Information Technology Guide for Oklahoma City CPAs.

 


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