Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd. is reeling from a cyber attack that took place in late September. The attackers gained access to the firm’s Microsoft Azure cloud account, which had only a single weak password and did not employ two-factor authentication. While the scale of the attack is unknown, it’s clear that the company’s data and systems were compromised. Regardless of the reasons for the attack, it’s important to maintain the highest level of security.
Data protection regulations
GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation, and applies to all businesses and individuals that are subject to the jurisdiction of the EU. It is a set of rules that govern the way businesses collect, use, and disclose personal information. The new regulation has many requirements for firms, but most boil down to three fundamental principles.
First, organisations must identify the impact GDPR will have on them. This may vary from organisation to organisation, but it will include organisational and legal issues. In addition, organisations must also have the ability to ensure the privacy of personal data. By ensuring data security, an organisation can reduce the risks of a data breach.
GDPR also includes a data breach notification rule. Under this regulation, a breach involving personal data must be reported to the data protection authority within 72 hours. A breach of data protection regulations can lead to substantial fines. It is therefore crucial for businesses to understand the new rules and adhere to them.
In addition to GDPR, the California Consumer Privacy Act also governs businesses. It requires that companies safeguard the privacy of personal information by preventing the collection, use, and transfer of personal information. A breach of these laws can result in a fine of up to 4% of annual revenue or up to EUR20 million. Furthermore, organizations that generate more than $25 million in revenue or that have 50,000 individual customers must comply with the California Consumer Privacy Act. According to the law, a person can request to see all personal data stored about them.
GDPR has also made it necessary for accountants to rethink how they communicate with their clients. GDPR requires accountants to adopt a variety of methods for safeguarding their files and reducing their risks of data breaches. One way to help them comply with GDPR is by using software that can help them manage these issues. IRIS OpenSpace, for example, allows accountants to securely share files with clients. The software uses Microsoft Azure servers to meet GDPR requirements and encrypts all files while they are in transit.
GDPR also sets a number of penalties for violation of the legislation. Depending on the category of violation, the fine can be as large as EUR 20 million or 2% of worldwide turnover.
Encryption is a crucial step in accounting security. This type of encryption protects sensitive information and prevents unauthorized access. Data from accounting firms is often highly sensitive, including social security numbers, national ID numbers, addresses, and financial information. Without encryption, such data is vulnerable to hackers and malicious insiders. To prevent data breaches, accounting firms should implement mandatory hardware encryption on all work devices and activate remote wipe features. They should also protect their networks with a firewall and update patches regularly. They should also install antivirus software to prevent malware attacks and prevent users from opening potentially dangerous files or websites.
Today’s accounting systems are often stored in the cloud, and while this makes them easier to manage, it also presents new security threats. Hackers and cybercriminals can exploit even the most sophisticated IT infrastructures. Internal accounting data is especially vulnerable to attacks. Encryption is an important measure to protect sensitive information and ensure compliance with the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act.
While passwords are effective, they do not protect the hard drive from physical access. If the data is stolen or sold to a third party, accountants will suffer a severe reputational blow. One recent case involved a hospital in Brighton, UK, which was fined GBP 325000 for data theft. It was discovered that hard drives were sold on eBay with sensitive patient information on them.
Despite these risks, the financial industry is one of the most heavily regulated industries. Compliance with regulations such as PCI DSS, SOX, and GLBA/FFIEC can mean the difference between a public breach notification and a safe harbor. Encryption can help companies avoid these risks by preventing data from being stolen and unauthorized access.
Asymmetric encryption uses two different keys to encrypt data. Private keys are unique to the owner of the data, while public keys are shared with the public. Therefore, symmetric encryption is better for individual users and closed systems. In addition to being more secure, this method is faster. It can also protect files that need to be transferred from one computer to another.
Adding two-factor authentication to your website is an important way to improve the security of your online accounts. These measures are widely used in social media, banking, and e-commerce websites. They harden access controls in sensitive areas of web applications and allow businesses and public organizations to operate more efficiently and securely. In addition, two-factor authentication lets employees perform remote tasks securely. Two-factor authentication methods include knowledge factors, such as email addresses and username-password combinations, and possession factors, such as mobile phones, USB tokens, and card readers.
Two-factor authentication can also be implemented in the form of mobile apps. Mobile applications that enable two-factor authentication can be used to create unique, one-time passwords for specific accounts. Mobile phone apps and other devices with fingerprint scanners can also be used. However, these solutions should not be considered the end-all solution for security. Instead, they should be used in conjunction with other forms of authentication for maximum security.
In addition, 2FA can be used to prevent brute-force attacks, which randomly generate passwords on your computer. This method can protect your data from hackers who may have copied your password as you type or stored it on their computer. Moreover, 2FA allows you to validate your login attempt even if your password has been compromised.
Two-factor authentication has several advantages, but it requires full buy-in from all employees. Typically, the decision to add two-factor authentication is made by a small group of executives, the security team, the IT department, and other stakeholders. Before implementing 2FA, identify the relevant stakeholders and communicate the benefits and risks to them.
Two-factor authentication helps protect against brute force attacks, dictionary attacks, and application-based attacks. These attacks use automated software to crack passwords, and using 2FA blocks them. Additionally, 2FA also prevents security fatigue, which can lead to weak passwords. If your business relies on remote users, two-factor authentication will ensure that your accounts are safe.
Despite its advantages, two-factor authentication is not completely secure. Two-factor systems have been hacked in the past. The biggest risk is social engineering, which is a type of attack that can bypass even the most secure systems. However, businesses can standardize two-factor authentication across their organizations and use it on personal computers to increase their security and protect their data.
Block-link regression analysis
In a block-link regression analysis, both the main effects and the interaction are reported in one block. If the interaction is significant, the coefficient is higher and the variance increases. The interaction is also reported as a simple slope. To learn more about this type of regression analysis, see Figure 1.