protecting client data


31st October, 2023

How to help keep your client data safe

We can all agree that the accounting world is shifting beneath our feet. 

It’s digital, fast, and complex.

Accountants now have a wealth of tools at their fingertips. You can leverage software to automatically file taxes or digitally store client details where it’s accessible quickly and easily. 

But with this digital shift comes a crucial question: How do you keep your client’s data safe?

While you’re juggling apps, worrying about encryption, and trying to stay ahead of the curve, how do you make sure you’re not dropping the ball? 

This article will guide you through how to keep your client’s data secure while maintaining their trust.

Office, laptop, cybersecurity, client data

The need for digital data management

We live in a world where data is king — and we must treat it as such. The old ledger books? Not up to snuff. Spreadsheets? A step up, but still not there.

Today, you need a system that can handle massive data volumes and help you organise and analyse it effectively. But it’s not just about storage and analysis. Digital data management should also:

  • Centralise data to ensure a single source
  • Streamline workflows to increase efficiency and productivity
  • Develop processes and policies to use data efficiently and protect it from theft
  • Leverage automation and AI to enhance accuracy and gain valuable insights

Data storage options to consider

Today, there are various ways of storing client data. Deciding on the best option depends largely on your specific business and client needs. 

Each approach has advantages and potential drawbacks.  Let’s look at three common methods.


On-premise storage 

On-premise systems give you complete control over data security with tailored measures like firewalls and encryption.

However, they require substantial resources and expertise to maintain security and keep up with emerging threats.

So if you’re looking to grow your small business, this may hamper efforts to scale.

Cloud storage

Cloud-based solutions are increasingly popular. These free you from the task of maintenance, as this responsibility falls on the service provider.

Plus, many reputable providers offer advanced security measures like encryption and regular backups.

When considering cloud migration from your legacy systems, you need to trust the provider’s security practices and ensure compliance with data privacy regulations.

Hybrid storage

As the name suggests, hybrid storage combines the features of on-premise and cloud systems. 

Also, one significant benefit is that you can keep sensitive data on-site and leverage cloud storage for scalability and accessibility.

However, managing security across two systems can be complex and may introduce vulnerabilities if not properly integrated.


Best practices for data management

So, you’re ready to manage your data like a pro, and prioritise cyber awareness. But where do you start?

Here are a few best practices to keep in mind:

  • Conduct regular data audits. Regular data audits keep you in control, helping you catch any irregularities such as errors, inconsistencies, data breaches, or non-compliance issues before they become problems. To conduct audits, be sure to define your objectives beforehand, analyse your client data systematically, and involve key stakeholders. 
  • Implement user access controls. Secondly, not everyone on your team needs access to everything. Suppose you work in a healthcare environment and you’re using a HIPAA VoIP for communication. Sensitive patient data will be stored on this phone system, so you must limit access to those who actually need it.
  • Follow robust password policies. Your password is your first line of defence, so make it count. Strong, unique passwords are non-negotiable. 
  • Encrypt data. Encryption acts as a powerful suit of armor for your data, keeping it safe even if it ends up in the wrong hands. It works by using special algorithms to scramble your data into an unreadable format and requires a special key or password to make sense of it. Storage systems like cloud storage providers usually have built-in encryption features to keep your data secure.
  • Back up regularly. Ever lost a day’s work because you forgot to hit ‘save’? We’ve all been there. Now imagine that with your client’s data. Regular backups are a lifesaver.
  • Update software. Keeping software updated protects you from the latest threats so be sure to always get the latest version to remove bugs and other potential holes that hackers may take advantage of.

Safeguard your client data

Remember, managing your data is an ongoing process, so ensure your policies take these best practices into account now and long into the future.

For additional online security tips for businesses, consult reputable cybersecurity resources and stay informed about the latest threats and best practices. Safeguarding your client data is paramount to maintaining a secure and trustworthy business environment.

Keeping your client’s data safe should be your top priority. With MYOBs full suite of solutions, you can help secure your client data like never before.