As a CPA, you have a number of responsibilities towards your clients. One of them is data security, especially as more and more work is being done remotely. Your job gives you access to key personal information including social security numbers, addresses, credit card numbers, bank accounts, etc. Your clients may also share with you their company performance and planning information.
Keeping your clients' data secure and helping them stay compliant with privacy law is part of your job.
Cyber Security Threats & Compliance Requirements Accountants are Facing
There are two major issues that accountants have to deal with.
The first is the growing threat of cybercrime, especially ransomware. Certified Public Accountants are particularly enticing targets due to the aforementioned large amounts of personal information they have to handle. Ransomware is also becoming more sophisticated as more and more targets learn how to handle basic countermeasures such as decryption tools.
A data breach could be devastating for you and your clients and could even result in the destruction of your business and the trust your clients place in you.
The second issue is the high level of compliance required. As a CPA, you need to comply with regulations set by the American Institute of CPAs, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. If you have clients in California or the EU, you need to deal with the tight privacy legislation in those regions. Finally, you also have to worry about PCI DSS standards, which apply to anyone who handles financial information. Staying compliant and up-to-date with all of these regulations is practically a full-time job.
How Remote Desktops Can Provide a Secure Environment for CPAs
There are a number of approaches CPAs can use to create a secure environment. As remote work increases, however, remote desktops such as those provided by DesktopReady become a more and more attractive solution. One advantage is that none of the data is stored on the physical machine, which reduces the risk of theft. In the event of a breach, the infected system can simply be replaced with a new, clean virtual desktop, at the click of a button. All data is always being backed up in real-time. This can defeat even the more sophisticated ransomware systems as well as other attacks.
This can't substitute for training in cyber hygiene, but it can significantly reduce risk, especially when you are on the road.
How CPAs can Ensure Compliance
Accountants are not IT people. Staying compliant with PCI DSS and other standards is, thus, not within your area of expertise. The best solution is to use Desktop as a Service. This will create work environments that already, from the start, meet your compliance requirements. All you have to do is let us know what standards you need to meet.
Because compliance is built into the desktop environment at the basic level, everything is more efficient as well as being more secure.
How DesktopReady Can Help CPAs
Our DaaS solutions for finance are built to mitigate cybersecurity risks and ensure compliance with all relevant standards. This is on top of the other advantages of virtual desktops. You can work anywhere and from any device without worrying about whether you are in compliance and stressing about data issues. The ability to use lightweight thin clients rather than full-featured laptops can be particularly handy if you spend a lot of time on the road, visiting clients or handling their needs from wherever you happen to be.