7 Potential Security Risks Associated With Cloud QuickBooks Hosting

‘Trust’ is not the only factor that users have to rely on when considering their switch to cloud-based solutions. Transparency is every customer’s right, especially when it is linked with security. With a major  number of CPAs in the United States, UK, Canada and various other countries using QuickBooks hosting as a means to have quick and easy hosted access to their accounting programs , the need to be extra cautious with all security measures is alarming.

Customers can only be fooled if the providers sense that they are lacking in their knowledge. So, make sure you make proper preparations prior to communicating with any hosting service vendor. Your list of questions may include the qualifications of policy makers, programmers and structural architects. Ask in detail about the risk-control plan they have implemented and the technical mechanisms involved. Also enquire about the level of testing that is done in order to confirm that all the processes and functionalities are working in the predicted manner.

Why is it important to enquire vendors about security?

The need for security arises due to the risks associated with any process. This is why it is first essential to know the risks that are likely to creep in with the implementation of a hosted business channel. Talking about cloud hosting, the seven unforeseen risks that may hamper the integrity of client data and hosted applications are:

# Potential Risk 1: Privilege of mobile access provided to users

Cloud allows business-critical data to be processed even beyond the enterprise premises and is thus clubbed with crucial risk factors. Third party hosted services circumvent through the three layers of physical, logical and administrative controls before reaching to the end user. To prevent data from any sort of vulnerabilities, make sure you enquire well about the people who will manage your data over the hosted servers. It is also essential to find out how the administrators manage the user account controls and in what manner the privileges are set.

# Potential Risk 2: Non-compliance with supervisory standards

It is not true that your data is safe with some random vendor who promises to host your data in a safe environment. Being an internet user, you are well aware of the vulnerabilities associated with it. Most of the authorized service providers hold the necessary security certifications and security reviews but you still need to ensure whether they are willing to get their security parameters verified. Application hosting providers who turn down your request to undergo this inspection are indirectly giving you a signal that for them, ‘security’ is just a phrase that they use for trapping customers and holds no real meaning.

# Potential Risk 3: The place where your data is located

While making use of the cloud, you are generally unaware of where your data is stored. The obvious answer, ‘servers’ should not satisfy you. It is your responsibility to ensure that your critical data is safe and thus, you need to find out where the servers are located.  After knowing the country where the concerned service provider holds the data center, you need to know if they follow the procedures and regulations that are made mandatory by the Government in that particular country. Also ask them if they have made commitments to safeguard the interests of their customers.

# Potential Risk 4: Segregation of Data

When opting for QuickBooks hosting services, you are going to place your entire data at the provider’s end. Thus, it is essential to gain the optimum satisfaction from your end. Most of the providers claim to have the client data encrypted. However, it has been revealed by Gartner’s Research that most of the enterprises are unaware of what is implemented at the back end and any mishandling of encryption operations can be fatal to the company data. Complete knowledge about the schemes that have been designed for encryption and testing should be gained prior to signing up with a cloud hosting vendor.

# Potential Risk 5: Dig Deeper into data recovery options

Risks associated with catastrophic and non-catastrophic disasters can place a client’s financial data at stake. It is practically quite difficult for vendors to perform complete backup of client data. The standard method of data backup should involve a series of incremented and decremented backup performed for ensuring that client data is secure at every point of time. Knowing about the backup mechanisms is the right of every customer. Also the users should be completely aware of what processes are implemented for recovering the data in case of any mishap and how long is it likely to take.

# Potential Risk 6: Investigate in detail

It generally seems difficult to investigate any activity that proceeds over the cloud. The reason is that the customers can login from various destinations and proceed with their functionality from various distant locations. Keeping track of who is genuine and who is not when the server details are revealed only to the client, is one of the most difficult processes to do. It thus counts amongst the most cautious steps to get a contractual agreement from the concerned vendor. Finding out that there have been satisfied users availing services for quite long is also essential.

# Potential Risk 7: Sustainability in the long run

It should be one of the customer’s preferences to choose a vendor who has been in cloud hosting domain for a long time and has built enough credibility. However, you should always be aware of what is going to happen even in the worst circumstances. Just in case your vendor’s firm is taken over by a larger player in the field due to any reason, what will happen to your data? Ask them what they will implement to provide your data back in these circumstances.






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