Imagine you run a garment shop in Mumbai. One fine day, when you start your computer to enter sales transactions, you are in a rude shock. You can’t open any program and some unpleasant advertisements keep flashing all over the screen. You realize that your computer is infected by a virus and the worst part is, your trusted anti-virus can’t even detect it. Unfortunately, you are left with no other option to erase the entire data on your computer to clean the virus. Yes, and you lose all his financial data just like that.
Sounds familiar? We often think that our office or home is the best place to store data but its just a belief – a false belief. These problems often occur with the offline applications that are installed locally on your PC or Laptop.
Is there a good solution? Yes, nowadays businesses are gradually moving towards cloud computing. Even in India, cloud accounting applications help you secure your financial data using cloud computing. Let’s look at some of the common causes of data loss and how cloud accounting softwares can help.
Office Computers can easily get infected by a virus
Most of us install a good anti-virus software but virus makers are getting smarter everyday. Your computers are just one infected Pen Drive away from getting that virus. If not Pen Drive, its the internet from where most viruses come these days. These viruses are known as Malwares and are difficult to remove and sometimes wiping the entire hard disk is the only option
Cloud Accounting applications are not required to be installed. These applications run from the browsers. Hence, even if you wipe out entire data from the computer, you can still access your financial data from other computer which is connected to the internet.
Weak or No Access Control on important data
Do you know another easy way to loose your financial data? Don’t setup any access controls for your computer. If you don’t know what this means, then I’m sure you don’t have these controls at your office. Normally, we have only one easy-to-remember (and guess) password to unlock our computers and its often shared with other ‘trusted’ colleagues. Its often ‘okay’ to plugin USB drives to transfer data (and movies and songs). Anyone can accidentally delete important files even without evil intentions. Its often impossible to trace if someone copies important files from the computer.
Cloud accounting softwares provide user level access controls so that you can decide which one of your employees can access customer details or who can create sales invoices.
Unrestricted internet access sometimes can be very costly
Employees use office internet casually and often do not give much thought to the security. If office computers are not protected by Firewall or internet security software, some malicious sites can quietly install malware on the system which can later harm your system and cause data loss.
Cloud accounting softwares are hosted on sophisticated cloud servers. For example, ProfitBooks accounting software utilizes Amazon’s cloud infrastructure. These servers are protected by strong anti-virus tools and are monitored 24×7 by dedicated team of professionals.
Cloud data centers deploy state-of-the art electronic surveillance and multi-factor access control systems. Data centers are staffed 24×7 by trained security guards, and access is authorized strictly on a least privileged basis.
Firewall systems on these servers protect the data from online introdures. All cloud accounting software providers use secure HTTPS connection with strong encryption levels.
This is way more secure than office computers.
Backups are taken only after we lose our data
We all know importance of regular data backups but are not disciplined when it comes to actually protecting our data. Even the backed up needs to be protected and organised in such a way that it’s easy to restore when needed.
Most businesses realise the importance of periodic backups only when they lose data.
Backup process used by cloud accounting applications is very disciplined and historic data can be restored within few minutes if required.
Unforeseen incidents (Fire, Theft, etc)
One of my close friends once left his laptop bag in the car and went out just for few minutes. When he returned back to his car after few minutes, window glass was broken and his laptop bag was not there. Unforeseen incidents like theft or fire can happen any time and you might not get a chance to backup your data.
According to this wikipedia article, business lose billions of dollars every year due to computer viruses alone.
Infrastructure used by most cloud accounting applications is designed to minimize the impact of disruptions to operations. Multiple geographic regions and Availability Zones allow you to remain resilient in the face of most failure modes, including natural disasters or system failures.
Such cloud infrastructure is regularly undergo third-party certifications and evaluations.
Each certification means that an auditor has verified that specific security controls are in place and operating as intended.
More and more businesses are embracing Cloud Accounting softwares like ProfitBooks or Quickbooks which are not only more secure but affordable too. Best part is, businesses do not need to invest time and money to ensure data security.
Financial data integrity and security is a top priority for any business and cloud accounting softwares offer a perfect solution which leads to only one thing – Peace Of Mind !
About the author : Harshal Katre is a founder at ProfitBooks and he writes about growth strategies, user experience and inbound marketing. Follow him @harshalkatre