October is Cyber Security Awareness Month
Throughout this entire year most major headlines have revolved around COVID-19, but have you thought about how COVID-19 is impacting cyber security? With many companies going remote, as well as consumers spending significant time online, cyber criminals are taking advantage.
Cyber Security on the Rise
According to Fintech News, in 2020 cloud-based attacks rose 630% between January and April and phishing attempts rose 600% since the end of February. With the tax industry being such a targeted industry by cyber criminals, it is imperative to think about your firm’s cyber security. Cybercrime is only getting worse, but there are ways to reduce your risk.
Protect Your Clients
The IRS recommends tax professionals use Publication 4557, Safeguarding Taxpayer Data, to assist in creating or updating your cyber security plan. Some topics within Publication 4556 include; Protect Your Clients, Be on Guard, Report and Respond, and Comply with FTC Safeguard Rules. Although this is not the only way you should be protecting your clients, it is a great overview and starting point. If you have not yet read Publication 4557, it is easily accessible at the IRS.gov website.
It is just as important to protect yourself and your firm from cyber threats. In a study conducted by Ponemon Institute in 2020, based on 524 recent breaches across 17 industries, the average cost of a data breach is 8.19 million dollars in the United States.
Do you have a cyber security plan to respond to a data breach? Do you have the funds to cover a data breach? If you answered no to either of these questions you are putting yourself and your firm at risk.
Take the time to find solutions that best fit your practice. Protection Plus provides Identity Theft Restoration services for your customers as well as Cyber Security insurance for your firm.