5 Questions You Need To Ask Your IT Company About Cloud Security
Given how integral the cloud is to the modern business world, cloud security and business security are virtually one and the same. The question is: are you sure your accounting firm’s data is safe in the cloud?
Do you trust the cloud? If you’re reading this article, you’re probably worried about cloud security. And you should be.
As powerful as the cloud is, it also presents serious cybersecurity concerns for accounting firms that use it improperly. According to Checkpoint and Cybersecurity Insider’s 2019 Cloud Security Report:
- Leading cloud vulnerabilities include unauthorized cloud access (42%), insecure interfaces (42%), misconfiguration of the cloud platform (40%), and account hijacking (39%).
- Those responsible for cybersecurity have difficulty acquiring visibility into cloud infrastructure security and compliance (67%).
- Outdated cybersecurity solutions don’t integrate with the cloud – 66% of respondents said their traditional security solutions either don’t work at all, or only provide limited functionality in cloud environments
The bottom line is that if the cloud makes it easier for you and your staff to access your firm’s data, it can potentially make it easier for cybercriminals to do so as well. That’s why, if you want to use the cloud for your accounting firm, you need to make sure someone is keeping it secure…
Can You Trust Your IT Support To Keep You Secure?
If you’re not confident in your IT team’s ability to keep your cloud-based data secure, then you need to do something about it. You can’t afford to let anything put your clients’ data at risk.
Finding a reliable IT company to keep your data secure means asking the right questions:
- Will My Data Be Encrypted? Always make sure that your cloud storage service offers local encryption for data. This provides double security because files must be decrypted to gain access. Encryption keeps data from anyone including service providers and administrators. Taking this small preventive measures can ensure that your accounting firm’s most sensitive information remains highly secure.
- Do You Assume Responsibility For Securing APIs & Auditing?
Although you control your data, the cloud service must provide for these security measures, including:
- Security by design
- Source code analysis
- Vulnerability and Security tests
- Secure deployment
- Protection against threats during use
- Where Is My Data Stored? That may seem like a rhetorical question, but it’s not really. It’s sort of like wondering where the Internet is – it’s easier to assume that there’s not a good answer to it. However, if you’re making that assumption about the cloud, you’d be wrong. After all, the cloud is based on a network of data centers, and that’s where the data is – in these data centers all around the world. Which data center your data is in depends on what cloud service provider you’re working with. All of this is to say that when you were researching cloud solutions, did you bother to ask where your data is going to be stored? Even outside of your professional cloud needs, think about your personal cloud usage. When you put some family photos on DropBox, do you know where those files are? East coast? West coast? Or even outside of the country? You might scoff at the idea of doing this kind of in-depth research of a cloud solution. It’s easy to think that the whole point of the cloud is that you can access your data from anywhere, and not worry about where it actually is. But you should be sure to find out whether your data is hosted in or out of the state, country, or even continent – this info could have implications on compliance and security, depending on where your data is stored.
- Will My Data Be Stored In High-Security Data Centers? However, using any old data center isn’t enough. Properly secured data centers combine high-tech safeguards with the latest in server room controls. This prevents the theft of equipment while providing the best protection against fire and heat. You’ll know that your clients’ data is:
- Protected by stringent levels of physical security.
- Monitored 24/7.
- Housed in buildings designed explicitly for high-tech networking equipment with suppression systems that won’t spray water on them.
The right IT provider can ensure that your information is replicated in multiple data centers. Also, make sure they provide geo-tracking capabilities so you won’t worry about bandwidth, and that your data will always be easily accessible and recoverable.
- How Is My Data Backed Up? If you’re not already using a cloud backup service, then you’re behind the times.
According to Acronis’ 2019 World Backup Day Survey, 48.3% of surveyed organizations already use a cloud-based backup exclusively, and an additional 26.8% use a combination of cloud and onsite backup.
If you’re only using an onsite backup, that’s certainly a good first step. But do you think it is enough? After all, your organization’s’ most valuable asset is your data and today that data can be stored just about anywhere.
Power outages, cyber attacks, hardware issues, and human error are all common occurrences – and when they stop you from getting work done, there are major effects; lost wages, lowered efficiency, unhappy clients, and in some cases, legal issues.
A cloud backup solution addresses each and everyone one of these possibilities. With backups of your data and applications in the cloud, you always have secure and easy access to everything you need to continue working and serving clients.
What’s more, cloud storage is a perfect way to reduce your IT costs. Data can be backed up directly to the cloud without the risk of data loss, which eliminates the costs and resources associated with on-premise data storage and protection solutions.
Partner With The HelpDesk For Managed Cloud Security
A comprehensive solution is the best approach, utilizing security control protocols that keep you protected from external threats around the clock without compromising the flexibility and convenience of the cloud. A fully managed approach also takes care of ongoing concerns like automatic updates and patches.
The HelpDesk team will be your partner in cloud security. We will equip you with the above solutions, monitor your cloud systems for any suspicious activity, and keep your cloud environment in shape.