Last updated:
June 10, 2024 11:00 AM
min read

Accounting Cybersecurity: How To Keep Financial Data Secure And Safe

Best Strategies for Securing Financial Data in Accounting Cybersecurity

Accounting Cybersecurity: How To Keep Financial Data Secure And Safe

Today, when everything is digital, cybersecurity is in demand for every sector of the economy, but credit management and accounting become the most sensitive areas.

In this article

01 | Introduction

Today, when everything is digital, cybersecurity is in demand for every sector of the economy, but credit management and accounting become the most sensitive areas. It is a top target for cybercriminals since technological changes have been the order of the day in trying to enhance efficiency and accuracy. It is, therefore, incumbent on accounting professionals, the protectors of financial data, to be aware of and report any breaches. This paper concerns cybersecurity in accounting, the rise of cyberattacks, must-have practices for accounting firms, and the features to look for in reliable accounting software.

02 | Why Is Accounting Cybersecurity Important?

This paper identifies financial cybersecurity as critical, as the losses resulting from a financial data breach could be devastating. The financial impact of the breach may be in terms of direct monetary losses, legal fees, or even the loss of revenues. For instance, Forbes recently released that the rising costs of cybercrime based on ransomware incidents in 2031 will hit $265 billion globally. Further, such breaches disturb the whole company's workflow in recovering the attacked data. Data breaches reduce employees' morale, disrupt the workflow, and, in the end, tarnish a company's reputation. Providing a cybersecurity framework for accounting protects both the firm's and the client's sensitive information while maintaining trust and compliance with regulatory standards.

03 | The Rise of Accounting Cybersecurity Attacks

The incidence of cyber-attacks on accounting firms has been very high, as businesses of different sizes are on the target list of hackers. According to revealed statistics, a new cyber attack occurs every 39 seconds, and 30,000 websites are hacked each day around the globe. This astounding increase demands the best cybersecurity measures put in place to ensure financial data is only accessed by the right people, hence assuring business continuity and, in turn, the confidence of their customers.

That puts the accounting sector at 30% further risk of cyber attack than other sectors. The need for going remote has also added complexity and given more opportunity to the bad actors. These bad actors have increased in number and are getting more intelligent with attacks aided by AI and Malware as a Service (MaaS). It thus becomes really necessary for accounting firms to run ahead with cybersecurity.

04 | Cyber Security for Accounting Firms: 6 Essential Practices

To effectively safeguard financial data, accounting firms must adopt comprehensive cybersecurity practices. Here are six essential strategies to enhance cybersecurity within your firm:

1. Know Your Threats

Preparing your accounting firm for the various cyber security threats that may occur is the beginning step. Typical threats include:

  • Phishing: This is the term for such deceptive emails or messages that make their victims disclose their data.
  • Malware: Software that damages IT systems and data.
  • Ransomware: What cyber criminals do is lock systems down and request payment for it back.
  • Insider Threats: Breaches caused by employees or other insiders, on purpose or inadvertently.

Each threat can lead to financial losses and data breaches if not properly taken care of. Awareness of new emerging threats, like AI-powered attacks and Malware as a Service (MaaS), is highly critical to keep cybersecurity sound.

2. Train Your Staff

Regular staff cybersecurity training should be available to avert breaches resulting from human errors. As such, training should feature the following:

  • Identifying Phishing Attempts: Educating staff to be able to identify and avoid phishing emails.
  • Secure Password Practices: To urge the development of effective and unique passwords for each of the accounts.
  • Reporting suspicious activities—establishing a work culture where employees can report security-threat information at liberty.

In this case, all the employees become more alert and proactive in ensuring that sensitive financial data is not harmed through a security-oriented culture.

3. Know Your Regulations

Therefore, accounting firms need to comply with regulatory standards such as GDPR, SOX, and PCI DSS, which require certain cybersecurity measures of protection for financial data. Assuring that your firm complies with these standards will ensure data is saved, save you from possible legal penalties, and grow the confidence of your customers. Document these requirements, and ensure this information is included in your reporting and accounting standards.

4. Design an Approval and Validation System

Implementing an approval and validation system helps prevent unauthorized access and errors. Key components of this system include:

  • Higher-Level Approvals: Ensuring that experienced managers approve critical actions and data usage.
  • Role-Based Access: Restricting access to sensitive information based on job roles.

This system minimizes the risk of accidental data sharing and internal breaches, ensuring that only trusted personnel handle sensitive information.

5. Establish Security Requirements

Develop comprehensive security requirements for your company that include:

  • Internal Controls: Measures implemented to ensure data is protected regarding its integrity and security from unauthorized access.
  • Risk Assessments: Regular evaluation to identify and correct potential weaknesses.
  • Security audits: Periodic audits determine compliance and adherence to the defined security policies.

Collaborating with your team to identify a potential vulnerability will secure your accounting processes.

6. Choose the Right Accounting System

Select a reliable accounting system to safeguard all of your financial data. Some general considerations for a system are:

  • Solid Encryption: Defending data at rest AND in transit.
  • Multi-Factor Authentication: Security Reinforced Beyond Passwords.
  • Automated built-in security functions: Security-enhancing, automated, and not manually controlled features.

A reliable accounting system should combine well with your firm's processes and give the security and efficiency needed.

05 | Keep Financial Data Secure with Reliable Accounting Software

Secure and reliable accounting software forms the base of cybersecurity for any accounting firm. Generally, accounting software is done in a way that protects sensitive information and deals with effective management and analysis of finances. Secure accounting software will allow you to protect your firm's and clients' vital information from cyber threats. This should be an all-encompassing solution that protects from both the outside and the inside threats, so the stored data is kept safe and can be retrieved by only intended individuals.

06 | Some Core Features to Look for:

Two-Factor Authentication

Two-factor authentication (2FA) adds an extra layer of security by requiring users to verify their identity using a secondary method, such as a push notification or a code sent to their phone. This reduces the risk of unauthorized access, even if passwords are compromised.

User Permissions

User permissions allow you to control who can access and modify specific data within the accounting system. By restricting access based on roles, you can ensure that only authorized personnel handle sensitive information.


Automated approval processes ensure that higher-level managers review critical actions and data changes. This reduces the risk of errors and unauthorized modifications, maintaining data integrity and security.

Role User Hierarchy

Establish user role hierarchy: Define who has view/edit rights to what portions of the accounting system. This step will ensure that sensitive data is accessed only by the right people and that accountability is in place.

Validation Rules

Validation rules are standards or measures set up so that the data is recorded according to the standards to which it was defined; that is to say, they ensure that processes are not done out of sequence and only allow users to carry out certain things.

Real-Time Event Monitoring

Real-time monitoring of events allows for detecting and responding to suspicious activities in good time. Detection and mitigation of threats that have the potential to cause damage before they happen can be done through continuous tracking.

Audit Trail Functionality

Audit trails track changes throughout the financial reconciliation process, providing a detailed record of who did what and when. This transparency helps identify and address any unauthorized or erroneous actions.

Object/Field Trail Functionality

Object/field trail functionality documents changes to specific records within the accounting system. This granular tracking enhances accountability and allows for thorough investigations of suspicious activities.

Workflow Rules

Workflow rules automate internal processes, ensuring data is logged, accessed, processed, and used according to predefined standards. This reduces the risk of human error and enhances overall security.

Secure Email Functions

Secure email functions encrypt emails containing sensitive data, preventing unauthorized access during transmission. This ensures that financial information remains confidential and secure.

07 | Protect Your Accounting Data Right Now with Eleven

Eleven is a comprehensive, all-in-one, complete software solution for accounting and cybersecurity. Powerful encryption of information, multifactor authentication, and automated security functions will ensure the complete and total safety of your financial information against natural and anticipated threats. Make Eleven your solution to secure sensitive information regarding your firm properly, therefore holding the confidence and the utmost trust on the client's part.

The Eleven cloud platform is designed with high compatibility and built security standards on top. Features include:

  • Data Encryption: The process of protecting data using advanced encryption styles, whether at rest or in transit.
  • Access Control: Using multi-factor authentication and role-based access control is good to ensure only the right people access sensitive information.
  • Periodic security updates: In other words, an updated system will contain the latest security patches that protect it from the latest threats.
  • Continuous monitoring: Real-time observations are an automatic alert mechanism to detect suspicious activities in time.

Eleven works with your accounting, keeping your financial data safe, meeting compliance concerns, and maintaining the trust between you and your clients.

08 | Conclusion

One of the most critical functions in the digital age, therefore, is cybersecurity when it comes to accounting. Cybersecurity in accounting concerns protecting sensitive financial data, firm integrity, and customer trust. Had these preventive actions been taken, the accounting data would have been more secure from emergent threats and activities to properly educate the staff, train them correctly, comply with regulations, and have nothing but reliable software. Secure business records and PII with strong passwords, anti-malware, antiviruses, and encryption of transactions. Note that exploiting the security holes wouldn't be wise if, in the process, all finances and workflows got put at risk for potential cyber problems.

Focus on cybersecurity: It makes accounting firms reduce risks, work within the rules, and protect their respective reputations. Proper tools and practices ensure the firm's data security, leading to a successful and trustworthy environment.


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