Have you started your business planning for next year? The last couple of months of the year can get hectic with trying to close out the end of the quarter strong, mapping out your plan to ramp things up in the new year and the various events or distractions that the silly season brings.

One area that many law, accounting, or financial services firm owners often skip over when creating their new year strategy is technology and cyber security planning. Cyber security is NOT an IT decision, it’s a business decision that needs to be made with your unique RISK tolerance in mind.

Naturally, the income your firm provides for you, your family, your team, and your reputation hinges on your ability to make smart risk mitigation decisions to keep your firms data and ultimately your clients data safe from cyber criminals. This seems obvious, but the reality is that most Managing Partners, Directors, CEO’s, Firm Owners, or Practice Managers don’t really know what they need to do and are not getting the right advice.

To create a reliable plan for the new year, there are a few cyber security basics that every law, accounting or financial services owner, partner, or director needs to be aware of to avoid being the next victim of a data breach.

Unfortunately, cyber issues are becoming such a regular occurrence that it is very easy to become desensitised to the drastic negative effects of data breaches which can leave you and your income vulnerable.

1. Your firm or business is NOT “too small”.

One of the biggest misconceptions that most firm, or business owners have is that they are “too small” to be a target. If you have money or data of any size or amount, you’re at risk.

Your Takeaway: Ensure you protect your firm or business and consult with a cyber security expert, who specialises in your industry, on what you need.

2. You’ll be the one who people hold accountable if you’re hacked.

When it comes to data breaches, whether you’re at fault or not… you’ll be the one to catch the wrath and fury. This could come from your clients, customers, employees, lawyers, the media and more, and it will be ugly.

Your Takeaway: You can prevent this by making smart decisions to proactively invest in ongoing monthly cyber security protections with a specialist in your industry.

3. Data breaches are expensive to you.

The cost from a data breach puts most small firms and companies out of business within 6 months. The costs can range from hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars, depending on the damage done.

Your Takeaway: You can prevent this by making smart decisions to proactively invest in cyber security. DON’T RISK everything you’ve worked so hard to build.

4. Having cyber liability insurance doesn’t necessarily mean you’re protected.

If you’ve been hacked, your cyber liability doesn’t automatically cover you. The insurance company will check to make sure you were doing everything you said on your application. If you haven’t, then you claim can and most likely will be denied.

Your Takeaway: Make sure you read the fine print on your cyber liability insurance policy and ensure you’re doing what you’ve said on the application form.

5. Being compliant, doesn’t mean you’re protected.

Being compliant means you are fulfilling the requirements that your professional body or the government has issued. This doesn’t mean you’re 100% protected, it means you have implemented the basics.

Your Takeaway: Consult with a cyber security expert who deals with clients in your industry. This is to ensure you’re compliant, and that you have the proper protections in place to protect you and your firm.

6. Your employees are putting you at risk.

They are not likely doing it on purpose, but human error is the number 1 issue with cybercrime. Whether it is a scam link that is clicked on, falling for a remote access scam via telephone, or a malicious attachment that is downloaded and run, each one of these small “accidents” can create huge problems for you and your firm or business.

Your Takeaway: Invest some of your technology budget into ongoing cyber security awareness training for you and your team.

7. Have a disaster recovery plan and ensure your backups are working.

Disasters can happen at any moment. Whether they are natural like a cyclone, flood or earthquake wiping out your office, or a cybercriminal who locks your system and demands a ransom to not only return it but also uses double extortion to stop them from releasing your extremely sensitive client data for anyone to find.

Your Takeaway: Having a disaster recovery plan, proactively invest in cyber security services and an offsite cloud backup that is tested regularly will allow you to reduce the impact of downtime and prevent further damage to you, your income and your firm or business.

8. Basic antivirus and a basic firewall alone are not enough to protect you.

These can be helpful, but they are not enough to protect you. Hackers are routinely able to find ways to break through this, so if you haven’t implemented a comprehensive layered approach, you’re putting yourself and your income at risk.

Your Takeaway: Consult with a cyber security expert who specialises in your industry, about what comprehensive layers you need to protect you. It’s not as expensive as you think when you compare it to the costs you incur when you suffer a breach.

9. Software needs to be updated when you’re notified about it.

This is true for anything, even your web browser. If you get a notification about an available update, it means a software bug or flaw has been discovered and fixed. If you don’t install the update, that’s one additional hole in your defences that could be the cause of you suffering a data breach.

Your Takeaway: Ensure your IT company or team are doing software updates for you behind the scenes and always update manually if prompted.

10. Ensure you’re on a virtual private network that your firm or business owns, or is a service you pay for, when you’re out of the office.

If you’re on holiday, working from home, travelling on business or at a local coffee shop ensure you connect to a virtual private network that your firm owns or is an ongoing service you pay for. This helps protect all the sensitive information you have and stops an unknown party from accessing it, helping you avoid a breach.

Your Takeaway: Consult with a cyber security expert who specialises in your industry about the best solution for your needs.

Now we know finding a Cyber Security or IT company you can trust and will tell it to you straight is a daunting task and want to help you. If you’d like to know about what protections your current IT company or team should have in place to protect you, then I invite you to click here to download our FREE executive “Client Success Kit 6 Surefire Ways To Protect Your Income And Firm.”, a $997 value.

This kit outlines in detail exactly what 26 protections you need to have in place to help protect your income, reputation, and firm. It also helps you to avoid the Australian government from issuing you with fines from $2.1 million up to $50 million dollars with a compliant privacy policy and many, many more helpful items. Don’t delay this executive success kit is only available FREE for a limited time.

Alternatively, if you’re ready to take the next step and your security seriously. Then we can offer you a FREE, no-obligation risk assessment. Even if you’re currently working with an IT or Cyber Security provider, it can’t hurt to have an independent expert third party validation whether you, your income, and your firm is protected.

We have limited spots and time for this available and we expect them to fill up before the holiday break. So if you’re interested, then I urge you to click here to book your assessment with our team NOW!

My Info Tech Partner is a trusted IT Services and IT Support provider in Perth that specialises in helping the equity principals, partners, directors, and practice managers of legal, accounting and financial services firms from making big expensive mistakes with technology and ultimately, protect your income.

Naturally, we are the only one that offers you enhanced peace of mind with our “Never Pay The Ransom” $10,000 Money Back Guarantee.