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Step 3 of 6: Use Two-Factor Authentication

Posted by Cathy Roth
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The thought of building a data security plan for your accounting, bookkeeping or tax preparation practice might feel daunting. But if you take the project one step at a time, you will have a written plan (as urged by the IRS), your clients' data and information will be safer, and you will have less risk as a practitioner. This is step three of your roadmap.

There are six components to a data security plan.  

Step 3: Two-Factor Authentication

Protecting your systems and programs with multi-factor authentication during the sign-in process adds an extra layer of protection and reduces the chance of a hacker accessing your systems. Most email providers, accounting software and other password-protected programs you use offer the ability to turn on two-factor or even three-factor authentication. Unfortunately, you usually need to be proactive and turn multi-factor authentication on yourself. 

There are different types of multi-factor authentication. However, according to the IRS, you should opt to turn on multi-factor authentication every time it is available. Although this will require you to take an additional step after entering a password - often a security code sent via text - the benefit of protecting your data far outweighs the seconds it takes to enter that security code. 

Action Items for You

  • Make a checklist list of all of your password-protected programs.
  • Prioritize your programs based on sensitive client data they contain. 
  • Enter the settings panel for each program and turn on multi-factor authentication (if available). 

If you use Microsoft 365 in your practice, this article will explain how to protect your Microsoft accounts.

Note: If you have questions about the security of your business or Microsoft accounts, contact Woodard Consulting Group and our team will help you plan a successful and modern security plan.

Step 4 of 6: Securely Back Up Files on a Routine Basis

Company Woodard
Intended Audience CPA - small firm
CPA - medium firm
CPA - large firm
Small Business Owner
Published Date 10/21/2021

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