Safe Data Storage: Should I Use the Cloud?

data storage cloudOver the last few weeks, we have been looking at Cloud computing and its benefits and likely future. To learn more about this growing trend and what it will likely look like in 2015, visit here. All of this talk about the Cloud probably has you a bit uneasy for safety and security reasons. After all, your organization is a data mine full of important and vital information. We know that there is too much at stake to not be putting your organization’s safety as the number one priority. Without safeguarded data and accurate records, you could be in serious trouble. If your data is stored in the Cloud, will it truly be safe? Let’s take a closer look.

What are Cloud backup services?

These are becoming more and more popular throughout the world because they are both cost effective and flexible. Storing your information and data in the Cloud not only protects it from disasters of all kinds, but it also does not require additional resources such as hardware or software. Because content is transferred automatically, it ensures data is protected from threats that are either physical, digital, or environmental. Recovery time, in case of an emergency, will be reduced substantially because of this. This gives all constituents the peace of mind they need to know that information is safe and recovery will be quick and easy if something happens.

This backup protection is even more important because so much of the data you have is financial information. Your fund accounting software for nonprofits, when used through the Cloud, is protected as well. Nonprofit accounting information is just too precious to risk losing, but the Cloud allows for this protection.

For the sake of clarification, there are other backup services available besides on the Cloud, but they are not as comprehensive. Local backups are one example. This means storing data on a hard drive, CD, or flash drive. Unfortunately, lost or broken data storage tools present a problem, and the backup needs to be done at least weekly and done manually to be sure nothing is lost. Offsite data storage is another example. They may offer more protection from physical dangers (natural disasters, theft, etc.), but they require more planning and resources. They require numerous and portable media, a secure location offsite to store the media, and a plan to be sure data is being regularly backed up and transported to the location.

Is the Cloud Safe?

While the first impression of the Cloud may be a good one, organizations still question whether the Cloud really is a safe solution in which to store their business-critical data and nonprofit accounting information. Like many new technologies, the Cloud has come under serious scrutiny. How, then, can a data backup solution that is maintained online be safe?

First of all, the Cloud has strong data encryption to prevent hackers (and even your backup service provider) from unlocking your data and violating your client confidentiality. The encryption technology is so advanced, in fact, that it offers complete confidentiality of all of your data stored in the Cloud. Make sure that your data is encrypted prior to (and during) transmission and that it remains encrypted while it is stored in the Cloud for safekeeping.

Your online data archive will also be fully protected with a digital encryption key. In order to keep your data locked up tight, make sure your provider allows you (or a designated person in your office) to be the only one with access to the encryption key.

RBP Methods knows that taking a step to the Cloud is a big decision and that concerns about safety are normal. Please contact us if we can help ease fears by answering questions and offering suggested Cloud options to meet your organization’s needs. Two such solutions are AccuFund Software Online and Abila Nonprofit Online Suite. AccuFund Software Online is a fund accounting Cloud solution for nonprofits that provides easy functioning capabilities while supporting your organization’s financial management requirements. Abila Nonprofit Online Suite is a complete Cloud-based nonprofit solution that helps you manage financials, grants, fundraising, and CRM in one solution.