According to a recent CPA Practice Advisor article, there are three tips or steps you can take to make sure your cloud-based system is securing sensitive company and client information.
- Embrace the cloud - "80 percent of employees nationwide admit to using unapproved software. Cloud platforms boost productivity and efficiency and let employees work seamlessly from home or on the go. However, these workarounds ought to be a major red flag for IT: If the company’s not approving cloud software, it’s not controlling its security either. A savvy IT department will make the switch to the cloud sooner rather than later and deploy security measures tailored to the cloud."
- Educate your staff about "bring your own device" (BYOD) - "Staff members need to know how the cloud works on their mobile devices, what’s secure and what’s not, and what the consequences can be of taking unnecessary risks. One of the most common causes for data breaches is the theft or loss of a mobile device. Because most cloud providers don’t extend their encryption protection to files synced to mobile devices, any files synced to phones or tablets are easily accessible if a lost device falls into the wrong hands."
- Encrypt sensitive data - "Make sure you’re reading the fine print when you transfer to the cloud, and add an extra layer of protection to your files by deploying file-level encryption. Separating the encrypted content from the encryption keys is also something to keep in mind: When the keys are separate, neither the cloud provider nor the encryption provider can access your files, either—or give them up, in the event of a breach."
Beyond those steps, it’s important to understand some of the general terminology, processes and misconceptions around the security of cloud computing.
Is cloud computing safe?
In short, yes. While each cloud-based service model has specific security concerns, none are insurmountable compared to the gains coming from using the cloud. For example, Vertex Cloud offers a SaaS solution and employs a number of security measures to protect client data from physical and web-based threats. The system encrypts incoming customer data using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), a cryptographic protocol designed to provide secure communication over the Internet.
What is the likelihood of data breaches in a cloud computing environment?
The likelihood of a data breach is equal to the measures a company takes to secure their cloud environments. By utilizing a cloud partner with the experience, technology and data to stay secure, businesses can experience the benefits of cloud without having to bolt on security afterward.
As technology evolves at a rapid pace it is essential that you maintain an audit trail and update your security measures frequently. Let Vertex Cloud, a cloud-based sales and use tax solution, provide your small to medium-sized company accurate tax calculations and signature-ready PDF returns.