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7 Tips to Protect Cloud Accounting Data

These days, cloud accounting solutions are catching like wildfire. As the benefits of these solutions become clearer by the day, more business owners are taking advantage of cloud technology to transform their business.

However, even for businesses that have made a firm commitment to move their accounting processes to the cloud, one key issue remains: how to make the best of your cloud accounting software.

In this regard, one of the primary issues that should concern you and your business is how to ensure that your cloud-hosted data is safe. Although cloud technology service providers often implement high-grade data protection measures, you should know that the responsibility for protecting your data goes both ways.

In this article, we will discuss what you should understand about data security and why it is important. We will also explain 7 tips that can help you maintain the integrity of your cloud accounting data and protect your business.

What is data security?

Data security, according to McAfee, “is the process of protecting data from unauthorized access and data corruption throughout its lifecycle.”

Data security simply means taking all measures to ensure the safety and integrity of your data. It covers approaches that protect your data itself (such as encryption) or measures that keep the data in a well-protected environment (like secure storage).

Yet, data security is one of the biggest challenges that data creators and hosts have in today’s world. To get some perspective on just how much of a concern data security really is, consider that some of the biggest names around (with arguably the strongest security protocols available) have been breached. Juggernauts like Microsoft, Apple, Google, Dropbox and Amazon have all fallen victim.

At home in July 2019, Brazilian hacker, VandatheGod breached the security protocols of 11 government websites in less than 12 hours.

Why is data security important?

It’s obvious really. Without taking adequate measures to protect your data, your financial information becomes fair game for anyone with a passing interest in it. Who would want to be interested in the financial data of a tiny mom and pop store in a little corner of Trinidad and Tobago you say? Pretty much everybody, and here’s why.

In the world we live in today, information has surpassed basically every other resource to become the most vital commodity on the market. Hackers generally don’t need your data for its intrinsic value. Rather, they are drawn to it because of the money they can make by selling that data.

Even if they cannot sell your data, there are a million ways in which they can use that data to hurt your business, and even you and your employees personally. They can open loan accounts in your business name, enter into fraudulent contracts with your own clients and basically make life very difficult for you. In fact, if given too much leeway, the loss of your data may lead to financial (and reputational) ruin for your business.

Now that you understand exactly what is at stake if your cloud accounting data is compromised, let us turn to what you can do to minimize this risk.

How to protect your cloud accounting data

The first thing you should understand about protecting your cloud-based financial data is the role you and your employees must play. Data security, while being primarily the responsibility of your cloud service provider (CSP), also falls squarely in your court.

To really be satisfied that your data has the best protection possible, you need to do your own part, just as your CSP does. That’s where these tips come in. Here’s what you can do.

#1: Create strong passwords 

Here’s a stat that will shock you. According to Info Security, 90% of passwords can be cracked within seconds. If that didn’t leave a cold tingle down the back of your neck, then congratulations. You must have passwords made of titanium. But if you don’t, the first step to data security is creating some high-grade strength passwords.

They say no battle plan survives first contact with the enemy, but this is a failing you cannot afford with your passwords. Make sure you use a combination of letters, numbers and special characters for a strong password. You’ll find other tips on creating strong passwords you can use here. It may also be advisable to consider implementing a business policy where all employees are required to change their passwords every 90 days.

#2: Don’t share your passwords  

This should go without saying, but it is something that far too many people find themselves guilty of. Just so you know, sharing here is not restricted to only whispering your password to someone else.

Storing your passwords in an Excel, Word or other documents and writing them down where they can be seen or stolen are both examples of bad practices you should avoid. Eventually, they pretty much amount to sharing your password with someone that may or may not spill them eventually. It will also be beneficial to create separate user accounts for each staff who requires access to your cloud data instead of sharing one general account name and password.

#3: Implement two-factor authentication

Two-factor authentication basically means an extra layer of security over your data in addition to your password. When two-factor authentication is enabled, your data can only be accessed after providing the password and another means of authentication such as fingerprint scan, face scan, pin number or security questions.

Although it is not always necessary (especially if you have stronger measures in place), it can be a great measure for ensuring the integrity of your data.

#4: Install virus /malware detection software

One of the weakest points through which your data can be compromised is through the end that you control: your computer. Threats such as viruses, malware, worms, rootkits, ransomware and phishing attacks are usually perpetrated locally.

If your local protection is not up to scratch, your data might end up being compromised through your end. Invest in strong antivirus software that guarantees protection both through your computer’s hard drive and on any network it operates on.

#5: Adopt user permissions

It’s a popular saying that “dead men tell no tales”. This most definitely does not mean you should go kill all employees with access codes to your data. However, by limiting knowledge about and access to sensitive information, you drastically reduce the probability that it will get leaked.

In addition, if there is a leak, it becomes much easier to trace the source since only so many people had access in the first place. How do you set this up? By utilizing user permissions on your CSP software. With user permissions, you can control exactly who has access to what and how much access they have.

#6: Ensure that your cloud service provider uses data encryption

When data is encrypted, it becomes entirely unreadable, except to someone that has the key. You could say encryption basically scrambles your data to make it look like gibberish to someone who doesn’t know what to look for.

Most of the best CSPs provide data encryption options as part of their security measures. By encrypting your data, you add an extra layer of security so even if the data is somehow stolen, it will be unreadable without possession of a key.

#7: Educate your employees/users

Although this is the last point, it is essentially the most important. There is no greater risk to data security than the humans who use the data themselves. No matter how strong your data protection measures are, a single error by one of your employees will expose your data faster than you can say “hack”.

Thoroughly invest in educating your employees and users about the importance of data security and standard measures to take. Make sure they learn how to recognize risks and act appropriately so that your other data protection measures will not be in vain.


In conclusion, while cloud accounting has all the tools to launch your business to the next level, you must do your part in protecting your data integrity. Implement these tips and you will be well on your way to ensuring that your data remains secure and uncompromised. Some of you may be wondering whether migrating to the cloud leads to greater possibilities of security breaches. The reality is that no data is ever completely secured. However, the security protocols adopted by your CSP will always be more extensive than what you will be able to implement on your local network servers.

Are you considering implementing cloud technology and worry about whether you’re able to successfully execute proper data protection strategies? Worry not. Schedule your free consultation today to speak to one of our cloud implementation consultants.

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