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Life after lockdown and the increased data privacy risk

The large number of people working from home brings a whole new set of data protection issues.

The way people work has changed dramatically since Covid-19 and some of these changes look set to be here for good.

Accountancy, like a great many other professions, must embrace these changes. Board meetings are conducted over zoom and other video conferencing apps, more people bank online than ever before, and more employees have been told to work from home for the foreseeable future. Remote working has become the new norm for businesses.

However, this increase in online activity brings with it an increase in data and an increase in risks. According to Action Fraud, March saw a staggering 400% global increase in cyberattacks.

Data security

Hackers have been taking full advantage of home networks that are not as secure as they could or should be. One of the main problems has been the amount of emails sent globally has risen dramatically. Businesses must carry out serious due diligence when it comes to checking their software, protocols and training. More than 80% of data breaches are down to human error, so data privacy and data protection are of utmost importance and must be taken seriously.

A recent survey by cybersecurity firm Kaspersky found that 73% of employees had not received cybersecurity guidance for remote working.

Accidentally downloading malicious content from an email could lead to devices being infected and business data being compromised. Businesses need to ensure staff can work as safely they usually would, despite the current circumstances.

It is important that while employees are working remotely that they can connect to the company’s network without creating vulnerabilities. Using a VPN not only protects the business, it can protect the user at the remote connection from a major problem by establishing a network gateway that can control traffic and disable connections easily.

Accountants’ reputations are built on trust and the type of work expected of accountants is ever-increasing and evolving. Gone are the days of only offering tax compliancy and bookkeeping services.

The data accountants handle is extremely valuable and, in this digital age, anything you can do to protect your clients and give them greater control over their information will only strengthen your organisation’s reputation.

The sector is moving towards being advisory and clients want a better understanding of how to grow their business and keep a competitive edge. Having up-to-date and forward-looking services means you can really help them shape their future.

Effective data protection training can ensure that employees are suitably informed and aware of potential data security and cyber security risks. By educating employees on how to spot, report and remove suspicious emails, employers become empowered to provide the first line of defence against attackers. This can reduce the rate of successful attacks by over 65%.

iCaaS does the hard work

Accountants handle a vast amount of data and done in the correct way, dealing with the requirements of data protection law can be complex, time-consuming and difficult to understand

Time is precious, so iCaaS has done all the hard work for you. They have created an easy-to-use solution that is tailored to your needs. This will give you the competitive edge, allowing you to build trust and win new clients.

iCaaS launched a training solution to meet the demands of home working and data security to help people who are still handling data – but doing it from their own homes. The solution will help you to become compliant and to stay compliant.

• All ICPA members receive 25% off. Call 0345 646 0066 or email at contact@myicaas.com for details. For more go to www.myicaas.com.

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