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As more and more companies move towards an electronic paperless environment, the need for file security has become of utmost importance. Additionally, cyber crimes are prevalent now more than ever, prompting clients and companies to seek the best option for the storage of their files (Cloud or on-premises).

This article presents a summary of material presented by Mark Ryburn, CPA, CITP, CDIA+, Product Line Manager (Tax Workflow) at Wolters Kluwer Tax and Accounting US; and Robert Baumann, Senior Enterprise Architect at Wolters Kluwer from a webinar entitled “Cloud vs. On-Premise, Which is More Secure?”  This webinar, sponsored by Wolters Kluwer and hosted by Accounting Today, was presented on July 9th 2015.

Going forward we will look at the security threats frequently encountered by practitioners, dispel myths surrounding the Cloud, review helpful tips for overcoming Cloud migration challenges, and discuss how eFileCabinet’s online tools employ security measures to keep users’ data safe.


Frequently Encountered Digital Security Challenges

In today’s digital environment, we are faced with a number of security challenges which pose a threat to online data. This has made security the number one priority for Cloud and on-premise systems. According to the AICPA (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants), the top 5 cybercrimes are:

  1. Tax-refund fraud
  2. Corporate account takeover
  3. Identity theft
  4. Theft of sensitive data
  5. Theft of intellectual property

In order to keep our electronic information safe, we must holistically look at the various components, which need to be protected including infrastructure, software, data, and processes.


Cloud Security vs. On-Premises Security

Over the years Cloud security has been severely underrated; this has been made worse by news headlines sensationalizing Cloud data breaches. Cloud security has therefore had its fair share of rumors and myths. Here we will outline and address the most popular Cloud myths:

Myth: Your data is not safe in the Cloud.

Truth: Cloud service providers generally have greater expertise and more technical staff than on-premise solutions. Gathering the technical requirements to make on-premise security on par with the Cloud would incur additional time and cost, ultimately resulting in a more expensive solution.


Myth: Physical control of data implies security.

Truth: The Cloud has advanced procedures, processes, hardware, and personnel that most firms may not have the means to obtain.


Myth: There are more breaches in the Cloud.

Truth: Research suggests that on-premise systems are far more susceptible to malware and botnets. Malware invades the system to gather sensitive information and botnets allow malware to take control of the on-premise computer.


Myth: I’m not using the Cloud so I have better protection.

Truth: Technically speaking, if your system has an internet connection and it is used to download and run online applications, then you are already using the Cloud.


Myth: Client data is too sensitive to be hosted in the Cloud.

Truth: The CIA and NASDAQ stock market host their data on the Cloud. Also, believe it or not, your clients are already utilizing Cloud technology when they do their online banking, credit card transactions, etc. Therefore there is no need to fear having sensitive data in the Cloud.


Cloud Migration Challenges and How To Overcome Them

Firstly, one has to understand that migrating to the Cloud cannot be achieved with the push of a button. It would be wise for a firm or individual planning to make their move to the Cloud to seek assistance from a team that specializes in Cloud migration from on-premise to the Cloud.

Also, do not try to migrate everything all at once or try to pull off an “all or nothing” migration. When moving to the Cloud it is better to take a sub-set approach by uploading a bit at a time.

When all data has been migrated to the Cloud, the next step would be to train staff members in using the Cloud to its full potential. It should be understood that moving to the Cloud will give rise to new processes and procedures that will differ from what was used previously in on-premise systems. In other words, one has to ensure that their firm is “Cloud ready.”

Last but not least is planning, planning, planning. Be sure to plan what data needs to be moved across to the Cloud. This is especially true with firms that have decades of data, some of which have become “stale.” Moving stale data creates stale data in the Cloud; however, migration can be used as an opportunity to clean up obsolete databases and files.


Is eFileCabinet Online Secure?

We previously mentioned how Cloud security is generally more robust than on-premise, and eFileCabinet is no different. We take security seriously and offer security measures that are above and beyond that which can be achieved by local systems.

When using eFileCabinet Online, all files are heavily encrypted to ensure that data remains safe and confidential. In addition, eFileCabinet Online files reside on SAS 70 Type II secure servers with a variety of physical barriers and intrusion detection systems to prevent unauthorized access.

Furthermore, all files are backed up regularly at multiple geographic locations to ensure that lost data can easily be recovered in the event of fire, theft, natural disaster, hard drive failure, etc.

Going a step further, data that resides on our online systems is protected using SSL: Secure Socket Layer encryption as an added layer of security. eFileCabinet spares no effort in keeping sensitive information safe and secure. Find out how you can keep your files secure today by filling out the contact form provided for a free 15-minute demo.