28 Dec Why cloud accounting is safe in the age of cybercrime
With more and more businesses performing nearly all of their tasks digitally, it makes sense that instances of cybercrime are on the rise. However, though this is the case, latest research has discovered that barely half of SMEs in the UK are actually well-versed in what it takes to effectively tackle cybercrime.
According to a recent study of 1,000 SMEs that was carried out by Aon, almost half of all businesses admitted that in the last 12 months, they have been the victims of a cyber attack. And, what’s more, the Department for Digital, Culture Media and Sport recently published its annual Cyber Security Breaches Survey, which revealed that one in three SMEs, and almost three-quarters of charities (68%), spend absolutely no money at all on cybersecurity.
A safer way to operate
However, working online is actually an incredibly safe and efficient way of running a business, but only if it is operated carefully and with consideration. Cloud accountancy, for example, is an incredibly safe way of operating, given that all information is located in one place, and can only be accessed by very specific people. This means that private data can be kept private, and all spreadsheet updates, amends and additions can be fully tracked and traced.
There are, however, numerous other benefits. For example, cloud accountancy is:
Cost effective: All maintenance costs can be paid upfront.
Time effective: As everything is managed online, work can be done from anywhere, by anyone, and without the need for face-to-face interactions.
Flexible: Work can be done when on the move, when at home, or when in the office. Collaboration is simple, and software is highly customisable.
An accountancy issue
With more and more accountancy work being conducted online via cloud technologies, it is absolutely essential that all businesses, regardless of size, make efforts to tackle cybersecurity more efficiently.
A study by Business Matters found that 70% of UK employees work from home at least one day a week, which means that more and more business is taking place online via cloud technologies. Therefore, cybersecurity is not only essential now, but is only going to become more important as we move forward.
According to Aon’s study, four in 10 SMEs that were surveyed were not actually aware of what a data breach actually was, which is incredibly concerning. This means that not only are many SMEs failing to put enough effort into cybercrime defence protocols, but thousands are actually unaware of what they need to protect, and where their energies should be placed.
The first step is, therefore, education. Understand what information criminals are attempting to steal, and then you will be far more aware of what needs to be protected.
What can be done?
Cybersecurity may sound, on the surface, to be complicated or expensive, but taking basic precautions can often be both cost-free and incredibly effective.
Here’s what to do to ensure that all cloud accountancy tasks are performed efficiently.
• Install firewalls and anti-virus software on all of your company’s computers
• Have simple instructions that all members of staff can follow to ensure everyone is aware of what they can do to limit the risk of encountering data breaches (only open emails from trusted people, don’t click bogus attachments etc)
• Have a system in place to deal with any breaches, should they arise
• Store all information and data in secure folders, and don’t send out passwords via email
However, what is also essential is to work only with businesses and partners that are dedicated to cybersecurity. If you are working with an accountant that doesn’t understand the value of protecting their client’s most private and sensitive pieces of information, perhaps it’s time to look elsewhere for a reliable partner.