There are many ways in which a single cyber incident can lead to the disclosure of CPA clients’ data. Here are a few examples:
- Phishing: A cyber attacker may use a phishing attack to trick a CPA into revealing their login credentials or other sensitive information. Once the attacker has this information, they can use it to access the CPA’s client data.
- Malware: A CPA’s computer system may become infected with malware, which can give an attacker remote access to the system. From there, the attacker can extract client data and other sensitive information.
- Weak passwords: If a CPA uses weak or easily guessable passwords to protect their computer systems or client data, an attacker can exploit this vulnerability to gain access to the data.
- Unsecured network: If a CPA’s network is not properly secured, an attacker can gain access to the network and extract client data and other sensitive information.
- Social engineering: An attacker may use social engineering tactics to trick a CPA into revealing sensitive information or granting access to their computer systems or client data.
In order to prevent cyber incidents that could lead to the disclosure of client data, CPAs should take steps to secure their computer systems and networks, use strong passwords, implement multi-factor authentication, and educate themselves and their staff on how to recognize and avoid phishing and social engineering attacks.