5 Reasons to Invest In Cybersecurity Services For Your Winston-Salem CPA Firm

Since the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, cybercrime has exploded. Malicious emails increased 600% and a cyber attack now occurs every 39 seconds. With the average cyber-attack costing small businesses over $25,000 to resolve, many industry experts are referring to this global problem as a “Cybercrime Pandemic.”  Below is a look at the growing need for cybersecurity services and the single best way to protect your firm from a breach.

How can accounting firms benefit from cybersecurity services?

If you are like most business operators in the accounting, tax, or financial services industry, you can hardly afford to spend tens of thousands of dollars every time a hacker commits a cyberattack. For this reason alone, cybersecurity should be a top priority. But there are other reasons to invest in cybersecurity. Here is a look at some reasons why you should ramp up your focus on cybersecurity.

1) Satisfy Compliance Requirements

“As part of their books and records obligations, all (North Carolina) state registered investment advisers must also keep and maintain policies and procedures that are meaningful and specific to their businesses. This includes having specific cybersecurity policies.” 

Elaine F. Marshall, Secretary of State, North Carolina

Whether your organization focuses on tax preparation, bookkeeping, or financial services, you have a responsibility to ensure your company complies with cybersecurity regulations outlined by your industry and by the State of North Carolina. To demonstrate compliance with regulations, it is helpful to have three key items at arm’s length:

  • A detailed cybersecurity plan for your business
  • A policy and procedure manual that includes your specific cybersecurity policies
  • A trusted cybersecurity specialist to provide 24/7 support if threats arise

2) Solidify Trust Among Existing Clients

Concern about cyber attacks continues to surge. A recent study found that over 90 percent of Americans are concerned about cyberattacks on financial organizations, highlighting the need for CPAs, tax preparers, and investment advisers to take steps to protect client data. By having a detailed plan and a cybersecurity solution in place, your existing clients can feel more confident that their money and personal data are protected.

3) Attract New Clients

“If consumers are staying loyal to breach-affected businesses, it’s not because they don’t care about privacy. It’s because they think they have no choice…They are looking for companies they can trust. The road is therefore wide open for forward-thinking companies to give consumers the privacy, security, transparency and control that they crave…”

– Sean Joyce, Jay Cline, and Anand Rao, Global Cybersecurity and Privacy Leaders, PwC

As concern about cyber threats continues to grow, businesses in the accounting and financial services industry have a unique opportunity to attract new clients. By establishing a comprehensive security plan and investing in cybersecurity, you can expand your client base. Here are some types of new clients you can attract:

  • Past victims of cybercrimes searching for a financial services professional who take cybersecurity seriously
  • People who are dissatisfied with their current accountant’s cybersecurity strategies
  • Prospective clients who are referred by one of your existing clients who are pleased with your cybersecurity measures

4) Maximize Efficiency Within Your Organization

The more time you spend resolving cybersecurity threats, the less time you have to devote to accounting, bookkeeping, or tax preparation. With a plan and a 24/7 cybersecurity specialist monitoring cyber activity, you can turn your attention to the following:

  • Expanding your service portfolio
  • Improving client satisfaction
  • Growing your customer base
  • Enhancing your workflow

5) Create a More Secure and Enjoyable Work Environment for Employees

“Rather than discouraging employees from clicking on any link, more effective strategies could include blocking phishing emails, installing software to protect against ransomware, and addressing use of passwords.”

Steven J. Murdoch, Professor of Security Engineering at University College London 

Nearly three-fourths of American IT teams reported a rise in the number of phishing emails during the pandemic, with the trend expected to continue in the near future. When employees receive phishing emails, their own sense of security as an employee is more likely to be threatened. They may jump to the conclusion that their personal information could be stolen, or worry they could be responsible for a data breach. This fear can cause hard-working employees to consider working at a competitor with a more comprehensive cybersecurity strategy.

By enlisting the support of a cybersecurity specialist, you help your employees feel safer and more secure by blocking and removing cyber threats. And with industry experts protecting your business 24/7, you can enjoy peace of mind knowing your cyber activity is being monitored day and night. With a reliable cybersecurity provider protecting your business, you and your employees can work more freely.

What is the single best way to protect your accounting firm from a Cybercrime Pandemic?

The single best way to protect your accounting firm from cybercrime is to seek the services of an experienced cybersecurity expert. Ideally, the provider you choose will have a proven track record of success in delivering security services to organizations in the accounting and finance industry. Because not all cybersecurity companies are created equal, be sure to look for the following qualities as you compare providers:

  • Expertise in developing customized cybersecurity plans for businesses in the accounting and financial industries
  • A focus on compliance with industry regulations pertaining to cybersecurity
  • A comprehensive contract that outlines their responsibilities in clear and understandable language
  • Experience conducting cybersecurity audits to identify security weaknesses that need to be addressed
  • A daily data backup plan that involves storing backup data on a device that is separate from a client’s server

The cybersecurity specialists with Parkway Tech embody these qualities every day as they protect businesses across North Carolina. From filtering web content to data protection, we have the tools and resources to develop and implement a customized cybersecurity plan for your organization.

We invite you to contact us to discover why accounting firms and finance companies in Winston-Salem turn to us to help safeguard against cyber threats. For over a decade, we have provided five-star security services to CPAs and Tax Professionals across Forsyth County. We look forward to serving as your trusted resource for all your cybersecurity needs!

Special thanks to Cincinnati IT service professional James Forbis with 4BIS for his help. 4BIS and Parkway Tech are members of the Ulistic High Performance Club.

Written by Chris Michalec posted on December 10, 2021

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