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The essential guide to secure email for certified public accountants (CPAs)

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As custodians of highly sensitive financial information, Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) are prime targets for cybercriminals and malicious actors. CPAs must also guard against human error.

Accidentally sending an email to the wrong recipient, for instance, can cause as much damage to your reputation as being the victim of a hack. To safeguard the data entrusted to them, CPAs need some form of email protection. 

We share insights on finding the right email security solution below. But first, let’s unpack the benefits of using email protection software.

Why secure email is non-negotiable for CPAs

  • Protecting client confidentiality: CPAs handle sensitive information daily, including tax records, financial statements, and personal identification details. Secure email systems ensure that this information remains confidential and is only accessible to intended recipients.
  • Regulatory compliance: The accounting profession is governed by stringent regulations, such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, GDPR, and other local compliance requirements. Secure email helps CPAs meet these regulatory demands by providing features like encryption and audit trails.
  • Preventing data breaches: The financial sector is a lucrative target for cybercriminals. Secure email systems are equipped with advanced security measures to thwart these threats, protecting both CPAs and their clients from potential financial and reputational damage.
  • Maintaining professional standards: The use of secure email reflects a CPA’s commitment to professional standards and ethics, reinforcing their reputation as a trusted advisor.

Key features of secure email solutions for CPAs

When selecting a secure email solution, CPAs should look for features that address the unique challenges of their profession, including:

  • Data loss prevention (DLP): Monitors and controls the transfer of sensitive information, preventing accidental disclosure by employee errors, such as misaddressed emails, sending the wrong files, or applying insufficient security measures.
  • Zero-access encryption: Ensures that emails are readable only by the sender and the recipient, preventing unauthorized access during transmission.
  • Access controls and authentication: Limits access to sensitive information, requiring users to verify their identity before viewing or sending data.
  • Audit trails and reporting: Provides detailed logs of email activity, supporting compliance efforts and providing evidence of due diligence. 

Building client trust with secure email communication

Secure email remains a critical component in the CPA’s toolkit, enabling accounting organizations to maintain the highest standards of confidentiality and integrity in their professional services.

CPAs must therefore prioritize the integration of secure email solutions into their practice, ensuring that their communications are not just effective, but secure. In doing so, they safeguard not only their clients' data but also the trust and reliance placed upon them as pivotal figures in the financial industry.

Find out how we support CPAs to communicate securely with clients and meet compliance. 

First published -
Last updated - 09/04/24
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