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3 Steps to Protect Your Professional Services Firm Reputation with Information Security

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SECURITY 3 Steps to Protect Your Accounting Firm's Reputation with Information Security Information can be a strategic competitive asset, so long as it is managed and secured effectively and efficiently. While people are important to security efforts, it's also worthwhile to consider how technology can automate information security and reduce the burdens on staff. One great place to start is document management. Central to all operations in accounting is information and this information is often wrapped up in documents. Accounting firm deliverables are often in document formats, firms receive sensitive documents from clients, and workers are constantly creating, storing, processing, managing, and sharing documents every day. Documents are at the core of accounting firms and the importance of document management cannot be understated. Therefore, when it comes to technology, bedrock solutions that serve as the fundamental infrastructure of the organization are preferred over multiple pinpoint solutions. Three items to consider in new information management and security solutions or when evaluating current infrastructure: Visibility According to the IBM Security Report, on average, it takes services companies 210 days to identify a data breach. One can assume that this number is partially due to lack of visibility. It's difficult to identify breaches if the organization doesn't have visibility into their information assets. In other words, how can an organization protect their information if they don't know what information they have, where it is, how it's used and who is using it? Many accounting firms still operate in an information environment comprised of segregated systems: CRM, SharePoint, Teams, Outlook, network folders, shared drives, practice management systems and individuals' laptops. Client data is often stored and processed in dedicated systems and separated from company information. This sort of environment is not only complicated from an IT perspective, but it also presents risk to security. For that reason, it's important to consider a core infrastructure solution that ensures information visibility. 03 ESTABLISHING THE INFRASTRUCTURE Information Security as a Bedrock

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