4 Steps to Build a Cybersecurity Plan for Your CPA Firm

Here’s a statistic that will grab your attention: 43% of all cybercrime is directed at small and mid-sized businesses, according to the 2021 Data Breach Investigations Report by Verizon.

That means, if you are a small to medium-sized firm, you shouldn’t sleep when it comes to your cybersecurity. Cyber actors are targeting all kinds of businesses, of all sizes, in all industries. Assume you are a target and create your cybersecurity plan for your firm accordingly. 

Who are they targeting?

Specifically, cyber actors are targeting firms that: 

  • Manage financial data
  • Are trusted to keep their clients’ data secure

Why are small accounting firms especially vulnerable?

It’s common for small accounting firms to have one or more of the following vulnerabilities, making them a higher risk to ransomware attacks: 

  • Less secure technology infrastructures
  • Unenforced cybersecurity policies
  • Little to no cybersecurity training for their employees 

What’s more, a cyber survey by InsuranceBee’s found that 83% of small businesses are not financially prepared for a ransomware attack. This brings us to a critical issue: how to build a cybersecurity plan for your CPA firm.

4 Steps to Build a Cybersecurity Plan for Your CPA Firm

1. Complete an assessment of your IT security

As a managed IT services company founded initially on experience working with CPA firms, companies like PK Tech can provide a comprehensive IT assessment to analyze the effectiveness of your firm’s IT security. This is a great starting point for identifying and addressing vulnerabilities. 

2. Create a detailed cybersecurity plan with specific milestones

The best plans are specific and achievable. Set clear milestones that your firm can reach on realistic timelines. Start with the first milestone, and then work your way down the list. Higher-risk areas should be the first milestones, followed by lower-risk areas.

3. Write it down, share it and identify a cybersecurity plan owner.

Make sure your cybersecurity plan is clearly documented and shared with c-suite employees, as well as anyone else intimately involved in the firm’s IT security. Among those the plan is shared with, identify one person or party that will ‘own’ the cybersecurity plan- holding the firm accountable to the plan’s specifics.

4. Hire an IT security team (if you don’t already have one)

An outside managed IT company can provide the insight and expertise to keep your firm safe. Partnering with an IT security company is vital to the security of your firm, as continuing awareness of the rapidly changing cybersecurity scene is their business .

PK Tech has deep roots in working with CPA firms in the Greater Phoenix Area. As we approach the new year and you may be analyzing your IT security needs and budget, we would love to talk with you about how our services might fit your firm. Contact us here.