The Cyber Safety Technologies to Use
Undoubtedly all our customers are aware of the threat of Ransomware, but these are not the only threats that are looking to take advantage of you and your customers. If you are a business that keeps any information about your customers, it is our recommendation that you follow the Federal requirements for all Tax Preparers. This will help ensure your customers’ data is safe. The requirements include written security policies, technology, and education. This article will concentrate on technology. Later articles will discuss policies and education.
There are six key technologies required by the Federal Government:
- Two-factor Authentication (2FA)
- Backup Software or Services
- Drive Encryption
- Virtual Private Network (VPN)
Anti-virus is a holistic term referring to any technology used to identify and stop malicious activity. Such technologies are available for endpoint protection, email protection, and web browsing protection. OneLink recommends you have both endpoint and web protection in place.
Firewalls in this instance refers to endpoint firewalls and network firewalls. The need for a network firewall depends on the size of your business. Desktop firewalls are required for any portable system usable outside of your protected locations.
Two-factor authentication solutions use systems that either send you a code you must enter or systems that push an authorization request to you that you must respond to for accessing the system. You probably already use these for web-based services. The Federal requirement is also to implement this for access to your network and your systems. This is the newest of requirements and there are software and hardware solutions available to make this easy to implement.
A process to regularly backup your data can ensure your business can continue functioning. Besides local storage you should consider how you can use cloud storage to increase your protection in case of a local or regional crisis.
We have had the ability to encrypt drives since before the Internet. Nowadays it is simple to implement as there are built-in and free solutions you can use. The key problem is managing the encryption keys. If you use the free solutions that is a manual process but there are solutions that can provide centralized management of this function
A virtual private network in this instance refers to software on the endpoints and on network firewalls. The need for this technology applies to portable systems and remote systems. If you have systems that users can take off-site and connect to other networks, the VPN will protect them. If you have remote users that connect to your network through the Internet, the VPN will encrypt this connection to protect your network.
Connecting your systems to the web has enabled your business to thrive but the threats keep increasing. If you have not yet implemented some of these technologies or would like to discuss if your technologies are sufficient, contact us to set up an in-depth discussion.