The internet has never been a more vital or more risky place to be. With more and more businesses moving to completely remote work and an increase in eCommerce sales of nearly 15% in just one year, having a digital presence for your business is vital.
At the same time, it seems like every day there’s a new cybersecurity risk to be wary of. Hackers and cybercriminals are getting smarter and more creative when it comes to accessing confidential information, and we business owners are having to find new ways to defend against their attacks.
As accountants, our clients here at Revel trust us to keep their highly privileged information safe. We take several proactive steps to make sure we do that, and we recommend all other business owners do the same.
Here are our top three tips for keeping your documents secure:
Perform an annual security audit to see where you can improve
Like we said, cybersecurity risks are constantly evolving. Having adequate security one year doesn’t mean you’re protected forever. As the dangers we’re guarding against continue to change, so must our security measures.
That’s why we conduct an annual IT and security audit. An outside company reviews all the practices and policies we have in place related to sharing or working with sensitive client information. Using this review, we can then make changes and improvements where we need to.
Fortunately, we’ve got a pretty robust security system in place already. Most of our enhancements are focused on evolving to combat new dangers as they arise. Based on the most up-to-date information, we can ask ourselves if we’re still doing all the necessary things to keep our documents secure, and update our practices if not.
Keep data outside of your own control as much as possible
Keeping all your sensitive data stored in your own systems is kind of like keeping your life savings underneath your mattress: your house doesn’t have the same security measures as a bank.
At Revel, we partner with several vendors to store and protect sensitive information. These vendors all have SOC 2 compliance certification, meaning they regularly undergo rigorous testing in five different areas to ensure they’re keeping your data secure.
Some of our most trusted vendors are:
Stripe for storing credit card information
Box.com for sensitive client files. We’ve paid for a more advanced version that has HIPPA grade security, access logs, and other advanced security features
Gusto for payroll data
By using these vendors, no Revel CPA server has a copy of a tax return, credit card information, or any such privileged information. Even if our security is somehow compromised, your data is still protected.
Be mindful of how you share and transmit sensitive information
Sometimes, keeping information secure is a super complex process with lots of tech jargon and confusing systems. Other times, it’s as simple as not sending your tax return as an email attachment.
You never want sensitive information floating around in your email inbox. If you’re ever sending secure documents back and forth with an accountant, a client, or anyone else, we recommend using a secure file exchange system. At Revel, we use box.com, though there are several other systems you can choose from.
We also recommend turning on two-factor authentication any time you can. This is just another way of proving that you really are who you say you are when you log into an app or server beyond just knowing your username and password. Trust us: a couple extra seconds to type in an authentication code is far better than the hours and headaches it’ll cost you in the future if your information is stolen.
Make digital security a priority in your business
We all want to know our information is being kept safe. Prioritizing cybersecurity doesn’t have to be a cost to your business: it could be an investment. If you become known in your industry for leading the way in data protection, clients and prospects will be that much more likely to trust you with their sensitive information over other businesses that haven’t made the same efforts.
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