Advice protection is essential to any company’ relationships with the customers of it. With office productivity becoming progressively more dependent on internet communications, and with the net becoming increasingly more complicated and exposed to internet offenders, this can become tricky if you look uncertain about internet security works. Your bookkeeping website design is a vital piece of your security strategy that is internet. Generally your customers will not be too internet savvy, and the advice they often send you is incredibly sensitive. As a way to protect them you are going to need a casual familiarity with your website and it is security attributes. Supposing the office is properly fixed (network controlled to local IP, doors locked, alarm system, etc.) the weakest spot in an accounting firm’s security is during the transport of information to and from your clients. Electronic Mail is a massive security problem. Email communications are possibly the biggest security difficulty your business has. I want to put this plain.

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Email is an excellent medium for communications that are routine, but it is ease of use has tempted many accounting firms up the garden path. Don’t enable your customers and staff to email information that is confidential. The issue with email is that much of the process occurs outside your control. There’s a standard misconception that when you send an e-mail it goes straight to the recipient, but nothing could be farther from the truth. Messages are routed through an vast network of mail servers. By the time it reaches it’s destination it’s likely passed through a dozen or so third party servers. Mail servers are a favorite target of malicious hackers, and if some of these mail servers are hacked along the way, your email could wind up being intercepted. Identity thieves harvest huge amounts of info in this manner. By adding encryption or passwords layers of protection can be added to e-mail, but a skilled hacker can defeat these precautions.

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Your bookkeeping website design can almost completely remove the threat of this type of attack. Include a Secure File Transfer feature when your website is designed by you. When you transfer a file using this kind of FTP protocol you can connect straight to the web server, avoiding the external servers that email depends on. Each client should have her or his own password protected web directory on the server like an internet safe-deposit box, so that just you and they can get it. Encrypting the transport adds another layer of protection that can protect your data from an “inside job”. The best systems really keep info encrypted while it’s being stored. This makes the directory appropriate for long-term information storage.

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Lots of your clients will be nervous about using the internet save and to send files. If you’ve got a basic knowledge of these systems it’s going to go a very long way to easing their concerns, so here are a few of the basics… Passwords Passwords should be protected from “brute-force” attacks by forcing a time out if your login attempt fails more than a couple of times in a row. If your hacker writes every three checks will slow him down to make this tactic worthless. Passwords should not be short and they should include letters and numbers. The number one cause of internet security violations is human error. You’d be shocked how many hackers get people’s passwords by asking for them. Never tell your password to anyone, and avoid leaving them written down anywhere that your staff and clients can discover them. Security Certificates Security certifications are central to online encryption.

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They save the keys used to decrypt online information. Be attentive to use them right. Out of date security certificates or securities obtained from “trustworthy” sources will allow you to look bad and frighten your customers away. SSL and TSL These are encryption protocols. SSL, or “Secure Socket Layer” is an older protocol that is still finding widespread use. The second encryption protocol that is commonly found is considerably newer. The adoption of “Transport Layer Security” has been slow because many offices use older equipment or unsupported applications which are incompatible by it.

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Both work exactly the same way. TLS has made some progress, but those differences are very technical. There is a third kind called PCT, or “Private Communications Transportation” that is relatively fresh. SAS 70 This is an accounting industry standard handled by the AICPA. It is an easy auditing statement. It’s not merely industry self- policing. Publicly traded accounting firms must be SAS 70 certified legally. A SAS 70 certification signifies that the auditor has accepted the security. Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act Also known as the “Financial Services Modernization Act” of 1999, this legislation contains rules that regulate the privacy standards of financial institutions which by definition includes any accounting company that prepares tax returns. Analyze security procedures of sections with access to customer files, name an individual to direct security, the GLB demands of most accounting companies to fashion a formal information security strategy, develop a continuing plan to track information security, and keep these procedures up thus far with changing technology.