QuickBooks has been the premier software for the accounting industry for a couple of decades now. However, since its inception, there have been various advancements in the technological platforms to install it – from the conventional computer systems in the office to cloud computing.
Diverse industries from around the world have shown a keen interest in the adoption of cloud for hosting their QuickBooks, giving them extended features like remote access, enhanced collaboration, and real-time visibility into data.
However, while choosing a QuickBooks hosting provider, one aspect that has always been a concern is data security. Since the accounting department deals with critical financial information of the company, they expect the provider to be fully equipped with the latest security standards and technology.
Here are ten essential questions you must ask your QuickBooks hosting provider to ensure complete QuickBooks security.
- Is your cloud complaint with the latest security standards?
There are various security standards and data compliances that the QuickBooks hosting providers need to adhere to. It ensures the customers that their data is secure with the provider and the confidentiality is intact. Check if the QuickBooks provider is compliant with regulations like GDPR.
- Do you implement access controls for the QuickBooks files?
Access control policies helps prevent unauthorized access to the data. The admin can set roles for different users in an organization and set file permissions according to them. The file permissions can be anything from view, edit, or comment. Enquire if the QuickBooks hosting provider implements access policies and do you get control over it.
- Will you be responsible for Patch management?
The Operating System is updated with security patches regularly to fix the security vulnerabilities and encounter the new threats. The QuickBooks hosting provider should take responsibility for patch management to ensure that you get the latest OS version. Moreover, ensure that the patches are updated in the backend without you experiencing any downtime.
- What practices are followed to mitigate DDoS attacks?
Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack targets a network by sending millions of fake requests so that the network gets overloaded, leading to downtime. The hosted QuickBooks providers should provide protection against DDoS attacks by ensuring a 24/7 network monitoring of all the incident data.
Any anomaly in the traffic patterns should be identified automatically and notified instantly to the support team. In case of an attack, dirty traffic should be filtered and blocked immediately.
- Where do the cloud servers reside?
As cloud service providers offer remote access to QuickBooks, the data center they choose to host your software and data can be in any location. However, it is essential for you to enquire about the data center locations to get clear visibility into the security of your accounting process. Ensure that the data centers are not in a disaster-prone area. Also, it is preferable that the data center is in US as other countries may not have similar data protection laws.
- What data backup options do you offer?
The accounting sector handles some of the most critical client information they cannot afford to lose. Hence, when it comes to security, data backup is one of the essential attributes to look into a QuickBooks hosting provider.
Ask about the backup policies of the provider, including the retention time, backup frequency, and recovery time. Also, check from the provider if the backup service is automated.
- What are the sign-in options available to access the cloud?
No matter how robust cloud security might be, you still need to access them from end-point devices. Hence, it is essential that the hosted QuickBooks provider offers multi-factor authentication to login to the cloud.
This ensures that even if your password gets compromised, no unauthorized personnel can access your accounting process.
- What encryption standards are a part of your cloud setup?
When accessing QuickBooks remotely, it is essential to prevent it from threats like man in the middle attacks. Data encryption ensures that hackers are not able to extract the data in transit for their malicious purposes.
It is recommended that you make sure whether the QuickBooks provider implements the latest data encryption standards like TLS 1.3 during transit. The good providers, however, implement encryption at the server level as well.
- Do you offer Disaster Recovery?
The good QuickBooks hosting providers deploy a redundant infrastructure in the data centers. However, the best ones have a plan in order to ensure data protection during a disruptive event, such as earthquakes or floods.
Ask for the QB provider’s disaster recovery plan. The data should be replicated in diverse geographical locations so you can continue working even during a disaster. Also, check the time that provider takes to shift your access from one location to another.
- What will happen to the data if we choose to opt out of your services?
Whenever choosing a hosting provider, planning an exit strategy is essential to ensure smooth migration back to on-premise infra. Ask the provider what procedures they follow to hand over the data after deciding to opt out of their services. Also, ensure that no data is retained from their end after the exit.
Getting answers to all these questions will make sure that the provider’s security architecture is robust enough to store your data. Once you are convinced with the security of the provider, you can look into other features to decide if the QuickBooks provider is good for you.
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