The IRS has issued warnings to tax professionals regarding increasing threats targeting client information. At Santoro & Sinnamon CPAs, keeping your information private and secure is our top priority. We invest in the latest cybersecurity products and have a dedicated staff that works tirelessly to ensure your information is protected.
The following is a short list of questions you should ask your tax professional:
While internet providers make it convenient by supplying their customers with a router / firewall, these devices are not usually adequate for businesses that store sensitive client data. Likewise, consumer-based routers / firewalls maybe fine for the home, they are not usually secure enough to protect sensitive client information. When interviewing tax professionals, ask if they use a business class router / firewall such as SonicWall or Cisco.
At Santoro & Sinnamon CPAs, we use only business class routers / firewalls. Additionally, we utilize gateway antivirus protection, intrusion prevention protection, botnet filters, geo filters and sandboxing of electronic files entering or leaving our offices. Sandboxing is a new technique where suspicious files are evaluated by offline computers prior to being accepted for delivery.
There is a growing trend for tax professionals to move to the cloud. By storing your files in the cloud, tax professionals can offer services such as client portals. The cloud may save tax professionals money and time, but it also may increase the risk that your data is compromised.
At Santoro & Sinnamon CPAs, our clients’ tax files are never stored in the cloud.
Not all email providers offer secure email. Sending your files by email may expose your data. To reduce these risks, ask if your tax professional has a secure means for you to upload files.
At Santoro & Sinnamon CPAs, we use a secure email provider and only send password protected files. We also provide our clients with a secure upload link for encrypting files that are sent to us.
Regular backups are not only important to ensure that no client data is lost, but they are also an important recovery tool in the event of a virus or zero-day attack. Without routine bare metal backups, your tax professional could be down for weeks and your data could be lost. Backups should be performed regularly, and a copy should be stored offsite to protect against events such as fire or flood.
At Santoro & Sinnamon CPAs, we do daily bare metal backups and keep a backup copy offsite.
Please call us for a free consultation and hear how we can help your business!