Cyber Security Tips and Tools

We hope that you will never have to deal with the impact of having your own or your client’s accounts breached by hackers!  In today’s online world safety and improved security are paramount, especially for business owners and tax professionals who need to keep your own and/or clients information confidential.

As a tax practitioner or business owner, you need to take responsibility for minimising the risk of data breaches in your business.

There are many easy tips and tools you can implement to reduce your risk of fraud and security issues.

Here are some easy solutions to implement:

  • Use a secure password protector – this is an essential tool for protecting your online security. An encrypted password generator and protector provides highest level password security. We like Password. Did you know that most data breaches occur simply because of poor password management?
  • Two factor authentication – two factor authentication (2FA) has become standard practice in many software applications. It offers an extra layer of security to reduce the risk of hackers gaining access to your account. For any application that offers 2FA you should be using it!
  • Cyber security gateway – better yet, consider using a protected gateway to ensure privacy and security of client data. A gateway such as Practice Protect manages passwords and access to all your connected apps and websites and gives you an audit log of user activity.
  • Use GovReports Digital Authentication – send out any documents requiring a signature from GovReports.  You can use this for all GovReports generated documents, as well as your own business documents that require signatures. See our previous blog article to find out more about the benefits of using encrypted digital signatures.
  • User access and unique logins – know who has access to what systems and at what level of visibility. Make sure all users have unique login email addresses and that none are shared between users.
  • Virus protection – it seems like a basic element of security and yet many people let this lapse. Keep it up-to-date.
  • Back up everything – pay for a secure online backup solution that is separate to any other apps or websites. Backup all computers and client data.
  • Computer operating systems – keep your systems updated to the current operating system version. Older versions are more prone to attack.

Start with the Essentials

The ATO has put together an anonymous questionnaire to help you self-asses your risk level and make suggestions about how to improve your online security. Visit ATO online security self-assessment questionnaire webpage. If you’re not sure where to start with upgrading your security this could help.

Talk to your IT expert for recommendations on how to maximise security in your business.

If you’re missing some of the important elements of online security outlined in this article, pick the easiest one and implement it right now. Make a commitment to follow up with further steps as soon as you can. 

Putting a few essentials in place now will lessen the possibility of having to manage unexpected security breach disasters in the future.

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