Three Ways to Beef Up Your Accounting Software Security

Have you been hearing about all the cyber attacks happening at major corporations this year in the news or had to cancel your credit card because of the recent credit card hack at Target? These big cyber scares can mean serious problems for customers across the country – but did you know there are security breaches in your own office just as serious?

Source [www.gotcredit.com]How many different software programs do you use at work on a daily basis? Between tracking your contacts, financials, sales, email, and much more, it’s starting to add up. The login process for all of these can be burdensome and often results in poor security practices. One sure way to beef up security in your office whether its big or small is to set user permissions for your most sensitive data.

Here are three signs that are typically an indication that user permissions should be used:

Computers are left unattended:

Many employees fulfill a number of roles within most companies. This will often force them to leave their computer for various tasks like stocking supplies, getting the mail, and running errands. Computers are often left on and logged in to several software programs. This may not be a problem in small closed office environments, but should be a concern as the number of people with access to the office increases. Typically the employees that require the most in depth access are located in less accessible areas of the office. Those in more public areas of the office may only need basic functionality for most of what they do. Limiting the access of those in more public areas ensures that even if an unauthorized person gets on the computer, they are not able to see confidential areas or accidentally change something.

In many companies the person at the front desk fulfills many roles and does need full access at times. A good security compromise in this situation is to have two user permissions setup for this person. One for basic access that allows them to complete the daily entry tasks, and another with full access for the times they are utilizing the depths of the program. The user can then still have access to everything at times, while choosing to have limited access at other times. This will help limit what can be seen and changed by anyone that happens to come across unattended computers.

Multiple Departments:

Software security is not the only concern that is addressed by user permissions. Problems are often created by well-intended people that accidentally delete something while trying to look something up. Any employee that doesn’t use the software regularly can make mistakes while digging through the data. A great peace of mind can be obtained when someone knows that they can log on with limited access that will allow them to see their reports without chance of messing something up.

A great example would be the individual or department that handles Payroll. It is safe to assume that you trust this person, so security isn’t a concern. However, an occasion may arise where they need to perform a task that isn’t a part of their standard procedure. As they access a different parts of the software the possibility for mistakes increases. Since they don’t usually use the different windows, they may not recognize if something is deleted or manipulated incorrectly. Having user permissions that limit them to Payroll would force them to seek help from other employees that have more knowledge in the other areas which reduces the risk of mistakes.

Networked Computers:

It is a universal best practice to setup user permissions when software is installed or accessed across a network. With this setup it is likely that multiple people will be accessing the software. When networked, the software becomes much more accessible and the concerns from every other area mentioned become a greater concern. Security is also a concern, because without user permissions anyone in the office can now have access to the confidential aspects of the software.

Source: SherWare Blog

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