The way business is conducted has fundamentally changed thanks to cloud-based software. If you’re reluctant to make the switch to the cloud due to security concerns, perhaps it’s time to think again.
The days of running your small or medium-sized business with pen and paper have long gone. Digital systems and processes have come to replace scribbles on post-its and filing cabinets full of photocopies.
Today, the modern small or medium-sized business relies on the cloud for storage, business operations, and financial transactions. Yet, for some, this new way of doing business represents a step into the unknown.
We’ve spoken with a number of business owners who share that concern. Often, they view taking their business online and into the cloud as the first step in leaving it vulnerable to fraudsters.
While it’s true that small businesses are increasingly the target of cyber-crime, it doesn’t mean your only solution is to avoid utilizing cloud-based platforms and operating your business “off the grid”.
In fact, the benefits of the cloud far outweigh the risks; and those risks can be minimized.
With a clear framework in place, you can enjoy the efficiency and productivity that results from implementing cloud systems, while reducing your exposure to online fraud.
And in this post, we’ll share a few techniques and technologies that will keep your business safe and secure.
The cloud can safeguard your passwords
Breaches as a result of guessed or stolen passwords are among the most common security issues faced by small businesses.
This is typically due to an ill-considered approach when it comes to selecting and managing passwords, with many businesses electing to use the same (or similar) passwords for absolutely everything.
Better password management can help you avoid these situations, and alleviate the apprehension of using cloud software.
With that in mind, we recommend using the LastPass password manager to control your company’s passwords and safeguard your data. Instead of writing down your passwords – or trying to keep them all in your head – LastPass generates complex and secure passwords for each and every system and platform used by your business.
That means you’ll only ever have one master password to remember when accessing LastPass itself.
Once you’re logged into LastPass, you can add, view and manage sites in your secure vault. Its built-in password generator will create long, randomized passwords for each website or cloud-based platform, which in turn will minimize the likelihood of a widescale security breach.
And thanks to its multiple layers of encryption, even if LastPass is hacked, your passwords will remain secure and out of reach from malicious groups or individuals.
By implementing a password manager like LastPass, you can increase efficiency and improve productivity throughout your organization, saving a huge amount of time in the process.
The cloud can securely store your files
You might be of the opinion that it doesn’t get more secure than a locked filing cabinet; but most business owners don’t lock their file cabinets, in my experience. Even if the filing cabinet was locked, floods and fires are quite unforgiving, and hard copies can be damaged or destroyed in the blink of an eye in such situations.
That’s why moving important business documentation to a secure cloud storage solution makes sense. Rather than cluttering your office space with paperwork, you can streamline your business, safe in the knowledge that crucial information can be retrieved at the click of a mouse.
What’s more, by digitizing your records and utilizing the cloud, you can avail yourself of the many operational benefits.
From instant access from anywhere in the world, to real-time collaboration with clients and colleagues, a secure file sharing platform can make all the difference when it comes to improving efficiency and internal processes.
Our recommendation here is to use Citrix Sharefile, an easy to use and effective file sharing option.
You can provide your team – or clients – with various levels of access, allowing them to access the information they require, and nothing more. And everything is held securely behind bank-level encryption.
The cloud can help you pay bills safely
For some reason, while the rest of the world has moved on to more secure methods of payment, the US persists with paper checks.
And if you’re one of the millions still sending paper checks (complete with your account number and routing number right there on the front), it might be time to stop.
‘The most effective way for consumers to safeguard bank account numbers is to stop using paper checks. Since money transferred electronically passes through fewer hands than a paper check, electronic payments can be a safer option for consumers.’
So, instead of writing a check the next time you need to settle an invoice, try Bill.com. As is the case with all reputable cloud-based platforms, security is at the forefront of the Bill.com offering.
We’ve touched on the military grade protection afforded to cloud servers in the past, and it’s no different here. When you make a payment using Bill.com, everything – including bank compliance, data security, encryption, and fraud prevention – has been optimized to the highest industry standards, keeping your financial information safe.
Are you ready to switch to the cloud?
As we mentioned earlier, the benefits of switching to the cloud far outweigh the risks. And by utilizing the platforms and services mentioned above, you can minimize those risks to almost zero.
It’s time to move forward and enjoy the efficiency and productivity cloud systems bring, saving you time and money in the process.
We can help you switch to an online accounting system that’s right for you, and take you through the best options available to complement the platform, while reducing your exposure to fraud at the same time.
Find out how secure your financials can be – get in touch with our team today.