6 Foolproof Ways to Bolster Cloud Security at Your Firm

Whether you’ve shifted your operations to the cloud or you’re still weighing your options, cloud security should be on your mind. Too often, organizations assume that their commercial hosting provider will offer protection that covers all their bases. The fact is that as robust as their security systems may be, they can’t safeguard data once it leaves the cloud.

Accessing information on the cloud using compromised devices, insecure wi-fi connections, and stolen log-in information are some reasons why your data is at a higher risk when in the cloud—but the good news is that it doesn’t have to be.

Keep reading for more cloud security tips from our QuickBooks cloud hosting experts.

1. Plan for Hybrid Environments

Cloud operations have become an integral part of nearly every organization. According to Right Scale, 91 percent of businesses reported using a public cloud in 2019. Out of these firms, 69 percent opted for a hybrid cloud solution that combines private and public cloud usage.

A majority of businesses are opting for the hybrid solution because it allows them to manage costs while meeting security needs. Your mission-critical data can be placed on a private cloud secured by the cloud hosting service provider, while less sensitive information can be placed on public cloud servers.

2. Know What You Have in the Cloud

As a leading QuickBooks hosting solutions provider, we offer a range of services—including data migration. During this stage of implementation, we often encourage our clients to review the data and applications they have on the previous system. Redundant information or unapproved cloud-based applications should not be moved to the new system.

Take this opportunity to cleanse the system of outdated and insecure components, and start afresh on the new system.

Recommended readingA Guide to Successful ERP Implementation

3. Don’t Become Collateral Damage

Understand the infrastructure and security mechanisms offered by your cloud service provider. Sharing a platform with other businesses could mean that you’re at a greater risk of network outages or degraded performance. Additionally, network downtime is also associated with a higher chance of cyberattacks.

Discuss your options with your cloud service provider and see if they offer secure, private clouds at competitive prices for your company’s software and applications.

4. Implement Detection Capabilities

The cost of a security breach is exponentially higher than the cost of security measures needed to prevent attacks. In the short run, your company will have to deal with IT repair, upgrades, and legal expenses. In the long run, you may end up losing your customers’ trust and business.

As such, it becomes essential that you routinely test your system’s defenses and implement detection capabilities that can give you enough time to assess the attack and determine the correct response. For instance, in the event of a volumetric attack, you may opt for cloud scrubbing.

5. Provide Anti-Phishing Training Cybersecurity

reports indicate that 32 percent of confirmed data breaches in 2020 involved phishing attempts. Attackers now go to great lengths to pose as legitimate institutions, suggesting that phishing attempts are quickly becoming more sophisticated. – Read more

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10 Cloud Security Questions You Should Ask Your QuickBooks Host

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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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. 

  1. 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. 

  1. 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. 

  1. 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. 

  1. 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.  

  1. 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.

  1. 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. 

  1. 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.  

  1. 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.    

Final Note

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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3 Types of Cloud-Based Services and Their Applications

Remember, when people used to carry USBs, hard drives, and CDs to store their data? Well, that era is gone now.

Cloud-based services have changed the way businesses function. Cloud computing capitalizes on a single IT infrastructure shared across all departments in an organization. Cloud computing enables managers and their teams to manage challenging tasks and workload efficiently and faster from anywhere they are located through any device they are using, decreasing their capital and computing costs.

The on-demand flexibility, security, cost-reductions, increased efficiency, and improved IT functions are some of the many reasons why  businesses are flocking toward cloud-based services.

All cloud-based services are designed to provide businesses with a remote shared infrastructure, which is monitored, and managed by the cloud service providers. But if you’re planning to boost your business growth with cloud computing, you must be aware of its different types and the applications and benefits of each type.

Ahead, we’ve rounded up the three most commonly adopted types of cloud computing to help you make an informed decision.

IaaS – Infrastructure as a Service

Circuit board close up illustrating IaaS cloud computing

Infrastructure as a Service is the most versatile of all the cloud services. It offers a business with a full-fledged virtual infrastructure managed over a reliable internet connection. An IaaS cloud service provider is responsible for infrastructure’s hardware management, such as the data storage space, servers, and others in a data center. But they enable users or businesses to personalize those resources according to their unique needs.

With Infrastructure as a Service, the user can buy, implement, configure, and run any software they require. Companies that follow highly scalable business models only invest in the infrastructure they need. This allows them to scale their cloud requirements without the additional cost of capital to build an on-premises infrastructure.

It’s particularly ideal for small businesses and entrepreneurs who don’t have enough finances to invest in new hardware. It also takes the burden of handling computing or ERP infrastructure away from the organization’s IT department. Since the infrastructure as a Service model automatically updates itself with advanced with new software, it’s more convenient to install and run new applications and programs. IaaS offers advanced cybersecurity solutions and disaster recovery for enhanced reliability. – Read more

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