May 5, 2023

Accounting Security: Best Practices To Keep Your Data Protected In Cloud Computing


Cloud computing has transformed accounting firms, but it also poses new challenges to data security. Sensitive data stored in the cloud is vulnerable to cyber threats such as data breaches and unauthorized access. To protect their data, accounting firms need to adopt best practices. In this article, we will explore critical cloud security practices.

Know your vendor’s cloud security policies

Understanding your cloud vendor’s security policies is critical to ensuring the security of your data in the cloud. It is essential to know how the vendor manages and protects data, what encryption standards they use, how they handle security incidents, and what access controls they have in place. 

By understanding your vendor’s security policies, you can assess their security posture and identify any potential security gaps or risks. Some key questions to ask your vendor include:

  • What is your data backup and recovery process? 
  • Do you have third-party security certifications? 
  • What is your incident response process? 
  • What access controls do you have in place for data and systems?

Use strong authentication and access controls

Strong authentication and access controls are crucial to ensuring that only authorized personnel have access to sensitive data in the cloud. It is essential to have a strong password policy, including complex passwords and regular password updates. Two-factor authentication (2FA) and multi-factor authentication (MFA) can also provide an additional layer of security. 

Access controls should be implemented to limit access to data based on user roles and responsibilities. Additionally, it is important to revoke access when an employee leaves the company or changes roles. 

Best practices for authentication and access controls include regular review of access controls, use of encryption, and monitoring access logs for suspicious activity.

Encrypt data in transit and at rest

Encrypting data is critical to ensuring the confidentiality and integrity of sensitive data in the cloud. Encryption protects data by converting it into an unreadable format that can only be decrypted with the correct key. 

Encrypting data in transit, such as when it is being transmitted between the client and the cloud, and encrypting data at rest, such as when it is stored on the cloud server, can prevent data breaches and unauthorized access. 

Best practices for data encryption include using strong encryption algorithms, such as Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), and managing encryption keys securely. It is also important to ensure that encryption is implemented consistently across all devices and applications that access the data.

Educate remote staff on cybersecurity topics

Educating remote staff on cybersecurity topics is essential to prevent data breaches and cyber attacks in accounting firms. Remote staff may be more vulnerable to phishing attacks, malware, and other cyber threats, as they often work from personal devices or public networks. 

It is important to provide regular cybersecurity training to educate staff on best practices for password management, email security, and safe browsing habits. The training should also cover how to identify and report potential security incidents and what to do in case of a data breach. Other important topics to cover include the dangers of unauthorized software and the importance of keeping software up to date.

Monitor your cloud environment

Monitoring your cloud environment is essential to detect and respond to potential security incidents and vulnerabilities. By monitoring cloud systems, accounting firms can identify unusual activity, such as unauthorized access or attempts to breach data, and take action to prevent data loss or theft. 

Best practices for cloud monitoring include setting up alerts for suspicious activity, regularly reviewing access logs and audit trails, and conducting vulnerability assessments and penetration testing. It is also important to ensure that all software and applications are updated and configured to minimize the risk of security breaches.

Learn more about accounting trends with INAA

By adopting these practices, accounting firms can mitigate the risk of cyber attacks and ensure the safety and security of their sensitive data in the cloud.

If you’re interested in finding out more about the current trends within the accounting industry, be sure to take a look at what the INAA can do for you. You can discover the benefits of INAA membership here, or apply for your membership on our join us page.

Share this post
Table of Contents
    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents
    Scroll to Top