Cloud data security best practices

Cloud data security best practices for accountants & other professional services

After the 2020 race to the Cloud, professional services like accountants are still  adjusting to their new way of working. Cloud computing’s impact on accounting can be significantly positive when done correctly, but what is the right or wrong way? To understand this, you need to look at how and what you migrated when you first moved to the Cloud.

 

What are Cloud data security best practices?

Accounting and professional services businesses have chosen different pathways to the Cloud. Some have dipped their toes in the water and moved selected workloads to the Cloud whilst others made their on-premises servers redundant and moved their entire IT infrastructure to the Cloud. The latter is preferable for several reasons:

 

  • Accessibility & mobility. A fully Cloud based business has the ability to work from anywhere, accessing key files and information within a secure environment.
  • Ongoing updates. Unlike an on-premises server, Cloud solutions like Microsoft Azure are constantly evolving and improving. This means your business benefits from ongoing updates and new product and function releases.
  • Organisations can scale their virtual server requirements up and down based on business activity.
  • Pay per use. Unlike physical servers that involve high upfront costs, Azure Windows Virtual Desktop is based on a per use model, meaning your only pay for the resources your business needs.

 

What are the commonly perceived risks of Cloud accounting?

Those in favour of a hybrid Cloud Azure stack, argue that there are several risks of Cloud accounting that can be negated with an on-premises server, but these are more fiction than fact.

 

Internet connection and having the right bandwidth have long been touted as reasons to retain a physical server. With connectivity improved across the country thanks to the NBN this is no longer a significant concern. Even in the event of a main link going down, redundant links can kick in. Cloud computing also enables accountants to login from their phone/tablet or on their home PC and keep the wheels turning.

 

For those in more remote areas, this risk of Cloud accounting can be a little more real but there are options beyond the NBN. For example, it can help to know if there are any existing fibre services you can get connected to. This is where specialist advice can become invaluable, by identifying solutions that the non-IT mind couldn’t.

 

Another perceived risk of Cloud accounting is concern around migrating or losing legacy data. But if your legacy files are data only, you can shut down your VM server and only fire it up when you need to access your data. If the legacy technology includes frequently used applications, then it might be time to replace the apps with a more progressive option. The older the applications become, the harder it will be to migrate them to the cloud. Either way, there are solutions to legacy technology situations to ensure they can move to the Cloud, all of which have more positive and sustainable outcomes for businesses.

 

Cost is still seen as a common barrier to retiring on-premises servers.  However, as noted above, virtual machines can cost significantly less than on-premises servers, are easier to maintain and can be scaled up and down based on use.

 

Reaping the benefits of Cloud data security best practices

Cloud computing’s impact on accounting is quickly realised, once in a complete Cloud solution, like Azure Windows Virtual Desktop. Microsoft is a global leader in Cloud technology and spend around one billion dollars a year on cyber security research. The result is a secure environment for accountants, or any business, to work within and the confidence that their data is as protected and secure as it can be.

 

If your business and Microsoft tenancy is Australian based, your data will be stored locally and never leave the country. You can deploy firewalls, share files and data securely with your client, with the same level of security as if you were sharing it internally.

 

If your accountancy firm agrees on a place to share documents, Microsoft’s Cloud data security best practice bans unauthorised locations to pinpoint the only shareable method for clients. This prevents information getting into the wrong hands and also reduces the risk of shadow IT.

 

To unlock these benefits and ensure your business is adhering to Cloud data security best practice, you need a partner with a deep understanding of Cloud accounting and Cloud computing in general. To find out how you can level up your data security in the Cloud, contact the team at Dynamic Business Technologies today.