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Ever wonder whether the ‘Cloud’ is safe?

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The ever expanding body of sensitive information handled by cloud-accounting software reinforces the importance of understanding how this data is protected, and how little most users do to protect it.

 

Cloud based software services put great effort into protecting customer’s data, and companies like Fresbooks and Xero regularly scan their servers for vulnerabilities. All traffic entering and exiting their networks is monitored by virus scanners and hacking detection software, with sensitive information being encrypted.

Physical facilities feature biometric access points, around the clock surveillance, redundant power supply, backup generators, robust fire suppression and climate control. Redundant storage seervers are used to keep customer data available in case of hardware failure at a primary data center. Even client account data is replicated across multiple database servers in different geographic locations, and backed up to tape, that is then stored in a secure offsite location.

Some data protection measures are as robust as those used by internet banking services, such as not responding to frivolous requests for information.

On the user side, clients need to know whether their full banking details are being hidden from the accounting service provider, with the client setting up the bank integration details rather than the accounting application provider.

Also, if the client data is overly sensitive, then the client may want to know where their data is physically being stored, and if necessary, choose to place it in a private rather than a public cloud system. Plus, the client should do their own data backups, and ensure that their backup system works and that they are able to retrieve their data in a form that they can use. Most accountants fail to ensure that their clients are adding this step to the process.

Clients need to know whether their full banking details are being hidden from the accounting service provider Click To Tweet

For further security, clients should be using a two step authentication so that even if their login details are compromised, their data cannot be accessed without verification of an authentication key.

Finally, the weakest link in the entire system is usually the clients password.

Passwords should be a strong and unique. Using the same password for all accounts creates a single point of entry and your clients most secure data is only as secure as the weakest protection in their network of cloud services. If the weakest site is breached, then hackers will take the same usernames and passwords and try them on all of the other websites used by the client.

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kirks-sig

 

Kirk

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