To protect your office and your clients, many tax preparers hire a cybersecurity professional. Every tax business is unique, so you should discuss your specific concerns with someone you hire. This will help safeguard your business and your clients’ data.
Here are some steps you should take to select a cybersecurity professional:
Ask for recommendations. Talk to other business owners or professionals for recommendations and references.
Be selective. Ultimately, you will need to select the person you trust most. You should choose someone with whom you feel comfortable discussing the safety and security of your firm and clients.
Interview. Ask questions of the candidates to learn just how much experience they have in data protection. Here are some preliminary examples of questions you can ask to get the ball rolling:
- How does ransomware work and what can we do to protect our systems?
- What are the best options to securely back up data, and why are those options the best?
- Do you have suggestions regarding data encryption, malware, firewalls, disaster recovery and remote access tools?
- Have you ever created a security plan for a similar business?
- Can you do an assessment of my systems and processes to find vulnerabilities or weaknesses? If so, will you provide recommendations to strengthen my security?
- Will you provide ongoing monitoring of my systems as security threats evolve? If so, how often do you recommend changes?
Depending on your situation, there may be additional questions to ask. You can tailor more specific questions to your own facts and circumstances.
Make it official. When hiring a cybersecurity professional, secure an agreement or engagement letter so both parties understand the terms of the agreement.
IRS Links for More Information:
Editor’s note: Check out more aricles on security and anti-fraud on the Intuit® ProConnect™ Tax Pro Center.