The cloud is still very new. The fear for accounting firms is the unknown. What does it mean to go to the cloud? What are the risks? What are the costs? What are the benefits?
Of all the above, the biggest red flag is the risks. In particular, the cyber risk of the data being vulnerable to hackers. An accounting firm is entrusted by the client to hold confidential information.
Lets take a look at why cloud storage remains one of the safest ways to store your data today, despite scare comments that regularly float across the news.
1. In all of the big news headline hacks, the cloud itself is not actually hacked. For example with the attack on Apple’s iCloud of 26 celebrities several years ago, it was in fact Apple’s password security system which was the issue and vulnerable, enabling hackers to guess the passwords and security questions. Not the cloud.
2. To keep data secure, the front line of defense for any cloud system is encryption. Encryption methods utilize complex algorithms to conceal cloud-protected information. To decipher encrypted files, would-be hackers would need the encryption key. Although encrypted information is not 100% uncrackable, decryption requires a huge amount of computer processing power, forensic software, and a lot of time. Can it be done? Yes, the only way to keep your data safe for certain is to lock it up in a safe beneath the ground. That being said, your cloud-stored data is generally safer than your locally stored data. Cloud services utilize more complex security methods than the average computer owner is able to devise, giving your cloud-stored data an added level of protection.
3. The cloud keeps your data secure from fires, floods, hurricanes, cyclones, physical office theft, and computer meltdowns.
4. It’s much more cost effective than holding a physical server in your office.
5. You pay for the updating, improved performance and security measures inside your subscription fee. As apposed to a physical server in your office. It might be of good quality at the time of purchase, but will no doubt need to be regularly serviced.