The IRS continues to release recommendations and regulations for CPAs to establish secure, practical data governance with online tools. If it’s good enough for the IRS, it’s likely good enough for you.
What are the real security risks associated with cloud software, and how can you mitigate them?
It’s understandable to be hesitant about putting your data on the internet considering it is, essentially, a publicly accessible network, with almost no security for your data built-in. While you might find that risk acceptable for your personal photos and social networking, it’s clearly not good enough for your sensitive financial data. To work around this limitation, many cloud services utilize encryption. Trying to set up a robust encryption system might be above your skill and comfort level, but there’s no need to worry. Look for cloud solutions that encrypt data on their own to give you security without additional overhead or effort. The cloud has matured to a place where traditional data protection – which puts a spotlight on the technology – is only part of the solution.
Controlling access to your computer, especially password integrity is very important. Even the best encryption cloud service ca not protect access to your data from your location. Access control is one of the major “people problems” that can ruin your day, as well as one of the key areas of recommendation in IRS compliance standards. Poor password practices can drive anybody crazy, but fortunately, modern technology has evolved to make it easier to safeguard your work.
User authentication can be a cloud security hang-up, but modern apps are giving you more options, making it easier to keep data safe without driving you crazy trying to remember dozens of passwords – a single cloud service means remembering a single set of credentials. 28 percent of the world’s smartphones currently have fingerprint scanners. Simple bio-metrics let you take advantage of multiple points for authentication without sacrificing convenience. Many cloud apps and services are building single sign-on functions into their architecture so you don’t have to worry about it.
It’s not possible to eliminate risk, but you can decrease it significantly by becoming aware of security issues, learning everything you can and being proactive in your responses. Tax Management & Financial Horizons has evaluated several Cloud base data storage and management systems and selected Citrix ShareFile to fill our needs. We have found it to be affordable compared to many other data back-up services and methods. Everything is backed up real time and the ShareFile system also allows our clients secure access to the data we use to support the clients.
We provide employees user controlled access access to their payroll data, and employers access all the payroll information without the use of paper. Copies of 941’s, W-2’s, tax deposits etc. are easily accessed by the employer and eliminates the need for the employer to develop a record retention system.
With Citrix ShareFile, you can enjoy simple, secure cloud-based file sharing and collaboration that supports compliance. Visit www.ShareFile.com to learn more about ShareFile or contact Tax Management & Financial Horizons 262 923-8100 Extension 1 for more information about financial data security. You can learn more about Tax Management and Financial Horizons at www.managedtaxes.com. We are offer accounting, IRS representation, and audit assistance.