Beware of the dangers of granting third-party access to your accountancy practice’s IT system

Posted on January 29, 2016

Beware of the dangers of granting third-party access to your accountancy practice’s IT system

One of the ways outsourcing providers like QXAS deliver their services is by obtaining remote access to their client’s computer systems. It avoids the need for client data to leave the UK together with the associated responsibilities imposed on the firm by the Data Protection Act.

Granting a third-party provider access to your firm’s systems can still be a security risk. Even if access is provided for a legitimate business purpose like outsourcing, it must be strictly controlled.

Providing system access to another company lowers your firm’s security level to that of the other company – in effect they become your systems weakest link. If a hacker compromises their system, they have the potential to use this as a backdoor into your network.

Before you give access to an outsourcing partner, you must conduct a thorough risk assessment. Consider an onsite visit to their facilities, particularly their data centres and any other locations housing IT and network infrastructure. Make sure they meet recognised security standards such as ISO 27001:2013 and adhere to a quality management standard.

Third parties should only have access to a segment of your network that is required for them to perform their services which ideally should be separated from the internal network by firewalls or an isolated subnet. Access should be restricted to the third-parties specific IP address, limited to a restricted time period and of course closely monitored.

The following link and video will help you understand QX’s approach to cyber security and help you determine the standard you should expect from any outsourcing partner.


To view more of my articles inquire about an on-site consultation, please feel free to call me on on 0870 803 1033 or email me at [email protected].


Bringing forth rich marketing experience in the accounting industry, Vishal blends his wealth of knowledge and creativity to educate accountants about the pressing industry issues. He is passionate about marketing and helps accountants scale their practice through his detailed write-ups.

Originally published Jan 29, 2016 12:01:55, updated Sep 15 2021


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