Here’s how UK accountants secure client information – to keep themselves, and their client data, safe.
1. Opt for an End-to-End Solution that Covers Mobile
Great security is all about consistency. You need a complete, solid, effective solution in place that smooths over all and any holes – and that means a solution that includes mobile and services from the outset, instead of treating it these as add-on issues.
Crucially, the technology you use should centralise all of your data and apps in a well-secured data centre, keeping all sensitive data far away from endpoints. It also needs to do this without over-complicating access procedures; focusing on a few, well encrypted points of authentication is far better than having your team try to keep dozens of passwords, policies and systems in mind.
2. Make Sure Different Departments Are Talking to Each Other
If there’s one thing that can reduce your security efforts to chaos, it’s a lack of communication within your organisation. Far too often, the people driving forward growth and innovation see IT security professionals as the nay-sayers that want to clip their wings.
If you’re going to implement an effective system that helps you serve your clients better and respond fast to their needs without weakening protection, your IT and your leaderships teams need to be on the same page, understanding each others’ concerns. Your security plans should be comprehensive, taking into account requirements and goals connected to data, apps, networks, devices and usage, as they pertain to all departments and roles.
3. Automate Wherever You Can
Increasingly, clients expect their accountants to act as partners, not suppliers, and that means a shift from the administrative to the strategic. But automating your admin tasks where you can isn’t just great for customer service, it can also help you to improve IT security, reducing the “human error” factor and making tracking and reporting easier to manage.
4. Get Everyone On Board
There’s no point in drawing up a top notch, 100% fool-proof security strategy that nobody knows exists.
If, for example, you’ve decided to roll out a Desktop-as-a-Service solution that means people can use their own devices to securely access files and applications, that’s fantastic. Your client information will be far better protected. But now you need to make sure everyone on the team gets why they need to stay within the boundaries of their mobile workspaces in order to be secure – why, for example, they can’t slip into old habits like using personal emails or USB drives to save or transport client files. These procedures and behaviours need to be ingrained in order to keep you safe!
5. Keep Improving All the Time
Threats evolve and hackers get smarter all the time. You need to stay vigilant. Keep auditing, keep analysing, keep reporting back on any areas you think might be cause for concern or that aren’t totally in line with your compliance obligations or risk management goals. Concerned that this isn’t your forte as an organisation? Make sure you’re partnering with a high end, security-savvy provider, and don’t be afraid to keep them on their toes.
Have questions or want to learn more about growing your business without sacrificing on security? Click here to get in touch or better yet, give us a call on 0207 454 1254.