By Roman H. Kepczyk
Quantum of Paperless
Going paperless means that all firm files and client data will be digitally stored on the firm’s network, which is almost always accessible to firm personnel via internal workstations and remotely via the Internet.
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Proper security is VERY difficult for any internal network administrator to guarantee as few have the experience and have participated in ongoing training to implement security settings optimally the first time. Therefore, all “one-shot” implementations of firewalls, WiFi routers, virtual private networks and other security settings should be outsourced to an organization that has experienced personnel dedicated to security.
In many cases, these providers can also deliver ongoing monitoring and maintenance of the firm’s firewall and Internet connectivity, and provide security guidance and personnel training. We recommend all firms conduct annual security training for all staff on today’s most common cybersecurity threats including phishing, ransomware and social engineering, which can put the firm at risk.
The firm’s security infrastructure can then be verified by an independent security consultant every few years, or whenever a major change in the firm’s network infrastructure takes place. If there is not a security consultant locally, three vendors with accounting firm experience in North America are Arxis Technology (ArxisTechnology.com), McMillen Group (McMillenGroup.com) and Xcentric (Xcentric.com).
- Have an independent security consultant/network integrator review firewall, antivirus, spam and physical security at least every three years or whenever a major change is made to the firm’s infrastructure.
- Mandate annual cybersecurity training for all firm personnel.