Secure Your Remote Work with the Right Backups

Working from home is no longer only for a few employees in special circumstances. The pandemic pushed many businesses to enable remote work. The priority was getting it working and securing access. Now that it's routine, it's also time to consider how you back up work from home. Data backup creates a reliable copy of business data. An accessible, a...
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Quick Tip No. 72

 Always have a recent backup of all your files in case your computer or hard drive fails or is stolen.
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Microsoft 365 Streamlines Business and Reduces Spend

 

 

When doing business online, you have many options for available software and systems. You might turn to one solution to handle online meetings, another to drive collaboration, and yet another to manage your content and workflow. It can get confusing. Plus, when you are duplicating tools, IT spend can mushroom unnecessarily. Microsoft 365 aims to offer a single, all-in-one solution. This article highlights the benefits of streamlining your software needs.


 

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7 Benefits of Cloud Computing for Accountants


The public cloud services market has grown dramatically, and, according to Gartner, migrating to the cloud is a top priority for a third of companies. Analysts predicted the market would reach $266 billion in 2020. Accountants enjoy cloud computing, too. This article rounds up the advantages of available cloud services.







Cloud computing can help accountants:




  • improve productivity;
  • empower employees;
  • optimize operations;
  • reduce operating costs;
  • backup better;
  • scale effectively;
  • add security.



Let’s talk about each of these in greater detail.




#1 Improve productivity




Cloud computing centralizes access. Files are available on any connected device, in real time. Avoid version control concerns as files pass among your team members or between you and the client. Everyone can work on the most recent file that is instantly updated in the cloud. The files are accessible on other devices if needed, too.




#2 Empower employees




The cloud enables on-demand access to computing resources. This includes software, networks, servers, and storage applications. Accountants can work from wherever they are, on their own timetable, from their own devices. With the widespread adoption of remote work, cloud services have become even more appealing.

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Hey You, Get Off the Public Cloud


The Rolling Stones sang, “Hey you, get off my cloud,” yet businesses might want to think instead about leaving the public cloud. Weigh these possible public cloud concerns against the advantages of alternate cloud solutions.




Private v's public cloud



When most people think of the cloud, they are thinking of the public cloud. Apple users are on its iCloud. Others may be storing files on Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Cloud, or other services. These all typically have a free level of service. You can pay a monthly fee to upgrade based on the resources you use.




Cloud data is easy to store and access. This can enhance business productivity and efficiency. Added advantages of hosted cloud services – public or private – include the following:




  • Speed. Hosted cloud services come on demand or self-service. It’s possible to have cloud resources up and running in a matter of minutes.
  • Performance. Cloud providers focus on running secure data centers with the latest infrastructure. It's their job to worry about hardware setup, software patching, and network reliability.
  • Scalability. Add cloud capacity without buying equipment or software, or training employees.
  • Mobility. Employees can access the cloud from anywhere, on any device.
  • Disaster recovery. Providers build in redundancies to ensure uninterrupted service.
  • Responsibility. You don't need to invest in on-site equipment, maintenance, and management.



Yet there are some drawbacks to the public cloud. The public cloud is affordable because businesses share resources. The cloud service provider relies on economies of scale. They bring many businesses together for the same services, and it all adds up. But if you’re in an industry with high compliance requirements, the public cloud is a risk.




Advantages of the Private Cloud




The private cloud offers the same benefits as the public cloud – and more.

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3 Steps to Securing Cloud Data


Businesses are no longer confusing “the cloud” with those puffy white things in the sky. For many, the cloud is a backbone business tool. Yet, some worry about storing their data on the Internet using cloud technologies. Consider these approaches to boost business confidence in cloud data security.




Cloud Data Security



#1 Encrypt Business
Data




The cloud is a lucrative potential target for cybercriminals. Many
enterprises have turned to this technology. In North America nearly 60% of
enterprises now rely on public cloud platforms. That’s a fivefold increase over
five years, according to Forresters’ Cloud Computing 2019 Predictions.




Some cloud service providers will promise to encrypt your data in
transmission. Take this precaution further by encrypting data before it’s sent
to the cloud. Encrypting data turns it into another form of code. Only the
person with the correct password can decrypt it. If you use a modern encryption
standard, it will be extremely challenging for a hacker to break the code.




Plus, encrypting on your end first ensures the cloud storage provider
only stores encrypted data. So, if their storage gets hacked, or one of their
employees goes rogue, they aren’t able to read your business data. That is
unless they have the decryption password. Make sure the password is strong.
Don’t be one of those people still using “password” or “123456789”!




#2 Have a Backup




Many businesses store data on the cloud as a precaution to have
redundancy. Yet, it’s a good idea to have another backup copy offsite too. Just
in case.

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What is the Best Way to Backup?


“That will never happen to me.” We get through our lives telling ourselves the worst won’t happen to us. It’s the same with business: “We won’t need this data backup.” Yet, whatever your industry, secure, reliable backup ensures business as usual. So, what’s the best way to backup? Here’s help.




What is the best way to backup?



Why You Need to Backup




  1. Business
    disruptions of any kind can be costly. The disaster might take one of several
    shapes:
  2. Natural (e.g.
    wildfires, floods, earthquakes, or hurricanes)
  3. On-site (e.g.
    hardware/software failure, power outage, inability to access building)
  4. Employee
    driven (e.g. damaging mistakes or intentional sabotage by a disgruntled
    employee)
  5. Cyber-attack
    (e.g. data breach, ransomware, or distributed denial of service attack).  



Regardless,
the best backup solution can help reduce downtime and damage. 




Plan B: Approaches to Backup




There are
several off-the-shelf backup options your business can use. Let’s consider the
pros and cons of the most popular ones.  




USB Thumb Drives — Also known as
“flash drives,” “pen drives,” or “memory sticks,” these thumb-sized devices are
compact and portable. But, they have size limitations compared to hard drives.
Also, the mobility makes them easy to lose (which can actually set the disaster
scenario in motion).  




Additionally,
a USB thumb drive is robust when not plugged in, but more vulnerable when
attached. If someone inadvertently snaps the drive or employs too much force,
they can put the data on that backup at risk.

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