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How secure is cloud accounting?

Cloud computing has become increasingly popular across many organizations as a primary method to store and manage data. The industry leader in cloud management, Right Scale, surveyed IT professionals regarding cloud adoption. In the 2018 State of Cloud report, an overwhelming 96% of respondents were using cloud in their organizations.  

Accounting firms are also transitioning to cloud-based services through cloud accounting applications, however, some are still hesitant to make the jump. Software Advice, a leading online service providing research and advice for software solutions, conducted a survey with small businesses regarding their overall confidence with cloud accounting applications and found that 32% of respondents still indicated “moderate” confidence.

Based on these results, there is still a concern that client data stored in a cloud environment is more vulnerable to data insecurity, but in actuality, cloud accounting can substantially increase security overall.

Cloud storage is more secure

An on-premise server is usually the solution for housing large amounts of data. However, the reality of server costs should cause accountants to think twice. Sherweb, a Canadian Cloud computing company, conducted a study of the average cost of an on-premise server. They calculated the average cost to be $1,476.31 per month.  In contrast, cloud servers were calculated as more cost efficient with an average monthly cost of $313.90.

With that in mind, the high cost of building an on-premise server should also provide top-notch security. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case. Alert Logic’s 2017 Cloud Security Report found that the average security incidents, per customer,  for on-premise servers were significantly higher than a Public Cloud. On-premise attacks accounted for 207 more incidents over an 18 month period. Cloud accounting prioritizes security by storing its data in cloud, but how does cloud keep the data safe?

Cloud refers to a network of physical servers spread across various locations. Cloud accounting applications rely on cloud service providers for these physical servers. This allows accounting firms to store large amounts of client data without the enormous costs associated with building and maintaining an on-premise server.

Cloud service providers host the physical servers in data centers. These data centers are monitored with 24/7 onsite security and strict access controls. They are also spread out geographically to minimize the possibility of natural disasters preventing users from accessing their data.

If you want more control over your data, you can opt for colocation data centers. A colocation data centre is local, allows you to develop a stronger relationship with your data centre, you’re able to monitor the physical server and speak to in-person staff.  

There is always a backup

Permanent data loss from hacking, equipment failure, power outage, and natural disasters can be an organization’s worst nightmare. Cloud service providers employ redundancy measures in their data centers in case of such emergencies.

A redundant system is designed to duplicate components and initiate a backup in case of a failure. Examples of duplicated components in a redundant system could be servers, hard disk drives, operating systems, and telecommunication links.

Servers use a redundancy measure known as a failover. A failover is a backup method that uses a secondary component to take over when a primary one is unavailable. A primary component offloads its tasks to a secondary component, which assumes operation until the primary component is working.

Cloud Providers also provide clients with different types of backup and restore capabilities. For example, Amazon Web Services (AWS) provides a snapshot-based data backup system. Snapshot-based backups copy data at a particular point in time to multiple data centre locations. In the event of a failure, data can be restored to a specific point in time. Clients never need to worry about losing their data since a backup system is always prepared for any kind of situation.

It’s time to switch to cloud accounting

Cloud solutions are improving daily and have never been more secure. Find out how Caseware Cloud can improve the data security and assurance of its clients.

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