5 data security tips for accountancy practices

1 May 2020
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As an accounting professional, you will have access to your clients’ sensitive information therefore it’s vital that you make all necessary arrangements to safeguard that information. By putting these five simple IT measures in place, you will be protecting your clients, tightening your data security practices and reducing the risk of a data breach. 

Admin rights

Carry out a check of all the machines in your firm and you may be surprised to find that most users will be working in the admin account. If users have admin rights, it means that they have full access privileges to the operating system on that machine and will be able to change the system settings, install software, delete applications and much more. Removing the admin rights will mitigate 94% of the critical vulnerabilities and protect the data that is stored on the machine’s systems. It’s an important step to remove admin rights and create separate user accounts thereby only giving elevated permissions to the users that need them to do their job. 

USB Sticks

Whilst USB sticks are convenient and easy to use and carry around, it is important to remember that they are also a security risk precisely for those reasons. If you put data onto a stick and then lose it, there’s nothing to protect that data. If you must use one (there are numerous other ways to save and store data with greater levels of security), be sure to choose an encrypted one from a trusted provider. Avoid at all costs those freebies and promotional giveaways which give no protection and which may leave your computers vulnerable to viruses or malware. Consider locking down all USB ports on your office computers too which will ensure data security is not compromised.

Permissions to access data

Essentially, people should only access data that is required for them to do their job. Anyone else in the organisation should not have access. This can be achieved through the permissions on windows folder structure by requiring management and a form or regular review. An alternative solution which provides a number of other benefits is to implement a document management solution so that there is no risk of data falling into the wrong hands. A good and well set up document management solution will enable you to apply a number of measures which can include permission controls, version controls, collaboration and productivity gains by saving emails directly to the correct folders in the document solution.  


We live in a world where passwords are required to access systems and data. We’re constantly bombarded with advice, telling us to use strong passwords, change our passwords regularly and not to use the same password for different logins. Sometimes the level of noise surrounding this means people become complacent to it. However, the advice is given for a very good reason. For example, you would expect security protocols and systems to be less secure for the local pizza delivery service than for sites such as Amazon or Paypal. So, if you use the same password for a takeaway delivery account as you do for your email account, if the pizza system is breached, the hackers will use those credentials on as many popular sites as they can program.  Things like Amazon, Paypal, Yahoo, Hotmail, Outlook, Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Instagram will all be tested if you have used the same password and email address – you are exposing yourself to hackers who will work away and ultimately uncover sensitive data. If you are unlucky enough to be hacked, it’s vital that you change your password in different locations to protect yourself fully. To help you manage your passwords, it’s worth looking at the current government guidelines for good security practices on the National Cyber Security Centre website. Following this simple advice will greatly improve the security you have around the access to all of your personal accounts. 

Multi-Factor Authentication

MFA is a proven way to add an additional layer of security at the login process whereby users will only gain access to an account by giving two or more pieces of proof of identity – one that they know (eg a password) and one that they have (eg a PIN or code which is sent by text or email or an authenticator app). This reduces the risk of a hacker attacking an account with guesses at the password. That’s because much of hacking is bot-driven automated weakness detection which will only get into a system that has a vulnerability. MFA makes the system much more secure. If we look back at our pizza delivery example from the previous paragraph, if you added MFA in, it would make it very difficult for the hackers to breach the other accounts.  Ensuring complex and different passwords with MFA on your accounts where possible will greatly improve the security of your accounts.

What our customers say

Lumina Technologies have taken the time to understand the requirements of our business and work as our strategic IT partner, enabling us to concentrate on delivering a high quality service to our clients and focus on our growth strategy. They have delivered a 100% cloud solution to our business with no underlying infrastructure costs or maintenance, which gives us scalability for our planned growth. It also means our business critical applications and data are securely accessible from virtually all our user devices. Lumina’s professional approach and strategic expertise is highly valued and their management of our IT – based on their in-depth knowledge, leaves us confident that our systems are available 24×7.

Luke Harrison
Keidan Harrison LLP

Lumina have supported us so well through the difficult circumstances of 2020.  They worked extremely hard to ensure we were able to work remotely and continue to operate our business successfully. The support team are very friendly and knowledgeable, and have excellent response times.

The team have also enhanced our cyber security which is so important in the legal sector, and they continue to provide high quality advice to help us move forward with our IT goals.

Robin Illingworth
Managing Partner, Adams & Remers LLP

The quality of IT Support provided by Lumina Technology is of the highest standard and is complemented by effective client liaison with impressive response times. Trap Oil Group plc has no hesitation in recommending Lumina as a dedicated and specialist group of IT professionals.

Martin David
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Richard and his team are a real inspiration to anyone who meets them and I have watched Lumina’s growth over the last few years with interest and admiration. Richard has been an amazing supporter of the Hospice of St Francis, being a Gold member of the Corporate Partner Network for almost two years. He takes an active interest in the community and is passionate about his company and his town: nothing is too much trouble, he is always willing to help, to give up his time and to provide business advice when asked. Lumina is an inspiration to any company wanting to set up business in Hertfordshire.

Carolyn Addison
Corporate Fundraising Manager, The Hospice of St Francis

Lumina Technologies Prism Hosted Desktop has allowed our business to centralise our global corporate data, allowing much faster access for all our staff – regardless of their location. We have also been able to simplify and reduce our infrastructure and management overhead. With the new Prism Hosted Desktop solution all staff now have simple and secure access to corporate data using any device they choose. Prism Hosted Desktop has increased the productivity of our staff and given us a single, consistent and familiar experience for all users from any device, in any location, 24/7.

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The commercially sensitive and regulated nature of Lambert Energy Advisory’s business requires an IT provider able to maintain the highest levels of integrity and confidentiality, Lumina Technologies has consistently been unimpeachable in this regard over the nine years we have employed them.

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Lambert Energy Advisory

It has been a great pleasure working with Lumina Technologies over the past two years. They have fully committed to being involved in the local community with volunteering and with professional advice and commitment, helping many local charities along the way. As a growing company it proves that being involved in the local community is helping them attract and retain a talented workforce and I look forward to working with them well into the future.

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Stephen Pembury
Hawkstone Management Services Ltd

Charles Douglas Solicitors LLP have been using Lumina Technologies for a number of years now and continue to be impressed by the technical know-how and contemporary knowledge of their senior management, who provide a timely, efficient and friendly service. Whether it is a small issue with one computer, or a strategic IT decision, they maintain a current knowledge of available technologies. Lumina are always at the other end of the phone to help resolve issues and minimise business interference. The technical knowledge of Richard and his senior team means that there has not been a problem that they can’t solve to date. I am sure we will continue to use them in the years to come.

Charles Douglas
Managing Partner, Charles Douglas Solicitors LLP

The team at Lumina Technologies have made the Amoun Travel & Tours office IT transition seamless and problem free. The office set-up has been vastly improved and the IT Support services are flawless. No issue goes unresolved, which is extremely reassuring.

Adam Helmy
Amoun Travel & Tours Ltd

Lumina Technologies has been Salamander Energy plc’s IT provider since start-up in 2005 and has supported us in London during our expansion across operational offices in SE Asia. Their professional approach, strategic advice and close co-operation have been essential in making this a success.

John Bell
Group Technical Director, Salamander Energy plc

Richard and his team at Lumina have provided Perrett Laver Limited with high quality strategic and practical IT Services for over ten years. During this period, Perrett Laver has grown from 10+ colleagues based in London to nearly 100 colleagues located in six offices across the Americas, EMEA and Asia-Pacific. Richard and the Lumina team have not just been responsive to our ‘everyday’ IT needs, but have proactively sought to work with us on developing an infrastructure suitable for the type of operation we are today, and are planning to be months and years down the line. I would not hesitate to recommend Richard, especially for small to medium size business with growth in mind.

Clementine McKinley
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Society Limited has been supported by Lumina Technologies since our earliest start-up phase. From large logistical challenges like an office move, through to smaller fiddly issues like fixing a faulty e-template, we know we can count on their support and advice. They’ve also been able to engage with us strategically on the challenge of scaling-up our infrastructure as the firm continues to grow and evolve. We always feel confident going to Lumina with a problem, since we know they genuinely care about sorting things out and helping us to get on with our core business.

Simon Lucas
Managing Director, Society Limited

The Vita Group HQ staff have worked with Richard McBarnet and Lumina Technologies for over 9 years, with Lumina providing all our PC, server, phone, and software support. The services have included C-level executives based in London, Manchester, the US, as well as supporting home office IT as well. The service provided and intellectual capabilities are outstanding and we would highly recommend Richard and his Lumina team.

Joe Menendez
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We worked with Lumina on a GDPR Audit. Richard was knowledgeable and professional throughout, and did the best he could to bring a dry topic to life through lots of real life examples and analogies. We were so impressed with the service Lumina provided and the value we got from partnering with them on this project – we couldn’t recommend them enough.

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